Episode 2: Battling Bigotry with Balls
Crystal LaBeija and the ballroom scene have both come back into the spotlight recently. On Drag Race Aja paid tribute to Crystal in Snatch Game but it felt a lot like people didn’t really understand the depth of who she was and what her role in herstory would come to be after many of those famous lines were uttered in the 1968 documentary The Queen. POSE has also done an outstanding job of telling the story of the late 80s/early 90s ballroom scene, highlighting the AIDS crisis, the issues faced by trans women of color, and the shifts in ball culture that occurred as voguing became a mainstream inspiration, as well as generally getting everything so much more right than Paris is Burning ever did. In today’s episodes we go back to the founding of this scene to talk about how Crystal’s outrage helped bring about the ballroom scene and what this all had to do with racism inside the drag community at the time.