Many of you who have followed my online platform over the past 6 years, are well aware of the fact that I am a major supporter of the Ballroom community. I began studying about houses and ballroom culture in my senior year of college after my senior thesis film professor introduced me to Jennie Livingston’s ‘Paris Is Burning’. I attended my first MAJOR ball in Baltimore, MD during the summer after I graduated from college. I have enjoyed the scene ever since. In the past ten years that I have attended balls in DC, New York and Atlanta, I have always been fascinated by the Fem Queens (transgender women). Im very much intrigued by their stunning beauty, curves, femininity and overall, eccentric nature.
In 2013, KATRINA EBONY truly began to transition and evolve into her womanhood. Her status amongst the ballroom circuit has skyrocketed as her fem queen vogue performances have stunned audiences across the country. Katrina is considered to be one of the fairly ‘new girls’. However, her performances are quickly being hailed by ballroom Legends and Icons as the new standard. Katrina’s confidence and poise on the ballroom floor gives her a certain ‘IT’ factor above her contemporaries. She vogues soft and dramatic when the moment calls. Lately, whenever Im surfing through the amazing videos filmed by Ceasar of BallroomThrowbacks, Im zoned into the new clips that surface of Katrina.
EVERYONE seems to be well versed in the art and performance of Mother Leyomi Prodigy. However, there are indeed other talented ladies on the scene who are putting the crowds on notice. Get into Miss. Katrina Ebony, below…
Yesterday, LAVERNE COX, actress and star of the runaway hit series, ‘Orange Is The New Black‘ spoke at the opening ceremony for the ‘Creating Change‘ conference. The conference is being hosted by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Houston, Texas.
After being introduced by one of the chairpersons, Laverne Cox walks towards the podium as Beyonce’s ‘Bow Down/Flawless’ plays from the loud speakers. I think that was the perfect song to segway into Laverne Cox’s speech, as she spoke intimately about her struggles as a transgender woman living in this country. She taps into the fact that she is undoubtedly a black, transgender woman. Laverne mentioned that she stems from a working class background where she was raised by her single mother. I enjoyed the speech, for Laverne Cox’s words paint a vivid reality of the obstacles that trans women especially, are forced to jump through, push over and toss aside in order to be respected as human beings, first.
I often read the negative comments that are posted beneath the photos that Amiyah Scott posts via her Instagram page. I see the hatred and ignorance that is written online in the comment sections of videos and blog posts that focus on transgender women. Their daily challenges seem to be a lot tougher and heavier than what I have ever experienced in the 13 years that Ive lived as an out, gay man. It’s very disappointing, quite honestly. One of my closest and dearest friends is a transgender woman who experienced the backlash of the ways in which trans girls were treated in the 80’s and early 90’s. Some of the stories that she has shared with me as it pertains her life directly and those trans women who stood alongside her are quite heartbreaking. Black, transgender women are often even ostracized from the ‘mainstream’ black, gay community. We do not embrace these beautiful creatures beyond the stigmas and stereotypes that society has already placed upon them. It’s 2014, and the effort on part of the LGBT community alone isn’t inclusive of transgender individuals on the street level. The acceptance may be a little more obvious in the upper echelon’s of the LGBT decision making groups. However, amongst the common crowd that exists between day to day tasks, transgender women are still mistreated and marginalized harshly.
Watch and Listen to Laverne’s very moving speech, below…