LGBTQ communities created havens of celebration throughout the 1900s in saloons, speakeasy’s, cabaret’s, etc. From 1920 to 1935, the Harlem Renaissance came to rise, where the movement of ballroom culture can be attributed to. Ballroom culture formed when LGBTQ leaders and the community came together to freely express their sexualities in vibrant colors within art, music, literature, and exuberant dance. The Harlem Renaissance paved the way for LGBTQ activism and allowed these communities to be themselves. Thus, the culture continued to develop, and between the “1960’s and 80’s New York drag competitions known as “balls” transformed from elaborate pageantry to “vogue” battles.” A powerful energy transcended through this time, and there was full glam and expression. Ballroom culture is the ultimate representation of freedom and celebration in the LGBTQ community. Thus, such creative expression remains within the LGBTQ scenes today as a proud and passionate part of the culture.
Photos by Laura Lucivero and Sashi Vyas