BEAUTIFUL.Voguing: The Message traces the roots of this gay, Black and Latino dance form, which appropriates and plays with poses and images from mainstream fashion. Voguing competitions parody fashion shows and rate the contestants on the basis of movement, appearance and costume. This tape is a pre-Madonna primer that raises questions about race, sex and subcultural style.
Dir. Jack Walworth, David Bronstein & Dorothy Low 1989 13 min. USA
1. Until I reconcile my feelings for the guy I’ve been caught up on for the past 6+ months (and who lives far away,) none of my forays into romance are going to be successful.
2. Drag queens are reprehensible, anti-woman, trans-shaming scum lords who perpetuate negative stereotypes of an oppressed underclass and are akin to the blackface performers of the early 1900s. They should be reviled and rejected by any decent human being.
“I become the gay man I am, not by expressing any innate desire (that’s homosexuality), but by joining a particular culture, by learning a particular language. I’ve always thought the phrase should be ‘going in,’ not 'coming out.’ At whatever point or points we choose, we enter a gay culture which already exists, and in joining that culture we find ourselves amidst a variety of styles which our gay peers offer to us and demand from us. … More and more I actually think the phrase 'being gay’ means 'doing gay things’ — and for me, drag is one of them. It makes me feel gay. That is, when I put on that frock, I enter into a wealth of specifically gay feelings, gay games, gay possibilities.”
Neil Bartlett on drag, The Body Politic No. 116, July 1985 >