How the LGBT community created voguing

How the LGBT community created voguing

Kia LaBeija: I was inspired by voguing because voguing allows you to be anything and anyone you want to be. Archie Burnett: Vogue is within the realm of a dance family. Archie: And that’s what it’s supposed to be—a dance family. The name voguing comes from Vogue magazine. The movements that define the dance are based on model poses from the fashion publication. Willi Ninja, who’s called the godfather of voguing, also drew inspiration from martial arts, ballet, gymnastics, and even pantomimes. In the critically-acclaimed documentary called Paris is Burning, Ninja defines the dance as an extension of throwing shade. Instead of fighting, two people would settle their beef on the dance-floor. So whoever had the best moves, would be throwing the best shade. During the 1970s, in Harlem, houses were formed within the larger drag ballroom scene. These house serve as surrogate families, primarily for Black and Latino queer youth. Each house is led by a mother or father who serves as a guide to the ballroom community. House of LaBeija was the first to form in the late 70s. Other notable houses include the house of Xtravaganza, Ninja, Pendavis, Corey, the House of Wong, the House of Dupree, and many others in New York and across the US. While many of these names come from the founders, other houses are named after couture designers like Chanel and Saint Laurent. Members come together to walk against one another in various categories at elaborate balls. Beyond the performance or throwing shade, though, these balls create a safe space for empowerment and belonging. Kia Labeija: Whatever you carry with you, you leave it on that floor. Whether it’s suffering for illness, whether it’s suffering for… acceptance. Kia: Whether it’s suffering from not having a place to call your home. Kia: Your house becomes your home. After the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, when a large population of the ballroom community was hit hard, the legendary balls and the houses that organized them also became a place for activism and awareness. Younger generations of voguers can be seen taking the stage at smaller Kiki Balls hosted by Gay Men’s Health Crisis, an organization that advocates for prevention of AIDS. Luna Luis Ortiz: It all started at GMHC when, GMHC was trying to figure out how to get young people to come into the building. And so, Kiki balls began so we could sort of attract them to come in for services. These balls serve as an outlet for self expression, activism, and offer a resource for gay and trans adolescents at risk of HIV, homelessness, abuse and depression. Outside the ballroom culture, voguing has long been synonymous with fashion and glamour. It’s often confused with Madonna’s co-opted version of the dance form. But it means much more to the community that made it. Archie: Dance is the one thing that you can control with your body. Archie: That’s something that comes from you. Archie: When you can take anything that comes from you, and gives you a certain amount of… of being comfortable in your own skin. I think that’s great! Archie: You know? And that is empowerment. Kia: When you get up there, when you walk that ball, and everyone is cheering for you. In that moment, you feel… …like everybody sees you. Kia: It makes you feel like you’re not alone.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

100 thoughts on “How the LGBT community created voguing

  1. I love this, I am LucyAlia Turull Aka Lucy Del Rio from the house of Del Rio first female house. I was part of the time of willie, labella, extravaganza, manifique I could go on with the list of houses back in the day. We competed but we were friends and I love my memories of that time.

    My house competed in the love ball and we were the grand prize winners of the love ball.
    Anyway I love this video, and I am glad to see houses still bringing it.

  2. Stop dividing the community saying "try me whitey" or "latino non" LGBT+ is supposted to spread love and freedom this people don't deserve to be on this community or even say they are proud to be part of the community bc they are wrong

  3. wow I had no idea that the ballrooms and vogueing was still around. I watched paris is burning and the ballroom was the only place the kids had to lay their head at night. It hurt my heart to learn that Madonna and others took what they wanted but left the documentaries participants behind.

  4. Leviticus 20:13


    “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

  5. It wasn't the LGBT community, it was Gays and Lesbians. Bisexuals and Transgender people had nothing to do with it.

  6. LGBT POC (Specifically, Black and Latino) created that. Let's specify that in the title, because it's hella IMPORTANT .

  7. Ok good for you guys go and celebrate it.
    You have a month for pride.
    You have a type of dance for LGBTQ.
    Is there anything else you want to have?

  8. This video is too short. I would like to see the good people at VOX do a documentary that gives this topic the coverage it deserves.

  9. Madonna made it popular in the 90s. The single sold 6 million copies worldwide. She might have invented (as some rumors suggested) the iconic dance moves but she never said it publicly.

  10. I do not know why they put the word or LGB label, it's like the most important thing here is the VOGUE, NOT OTHER MOVEMENT, YOU ARE EXCLUDING IT. IN THE END THAT DANCE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES.

  11. Y'all CAN'T b this ignorant to believe gays came up with this dance 🤦🏿‍♀️ We were doing this in the 90s before y'all wanted to be what you're not. Stop it 👎🏿

  12. 2.5k people can't accept that the LGBT community created something. Straights literally feel the need to own everything

  13. straights really want everything lmao People are saying stuff like "LGB people didnt create voguing…. Everyone did this in the 90s" when the video was talking about the 70s and 80s

  14. You say empowerment and belonging but won’t specify the most important fact in your title. BLACK AND BROWN LGBT CREATED THIS. Give them the credit they rightfully deserve by at least changing your title.

  15. black or white or blue what does it matter? this is an all inclusive environment so pointing out races is irrelevant.

  16. Vox: positive comments and sharing the history about the whole Vogue community

    Community; cultUraL 👏 APPROPRIATIONS

  17. Modern society has a lot of flaws but the fact that anyone can be himself nowadays and embrace it is wonderful.

  18. why is madonna accused of co-opting yet the the godfather was influenced and didn't co opt ballet martial arts and gymnastics or the houses didn't co opt there names from high fashion world, love the historical facts provided bUT why does everyone have to be hypocritical, 21st century age of hypocrisy even the name of the dance was jacked from high fasghion world .

  19. Why do Blacks always try to divide and segregate instead of unite? I'm reading a lot of the comments and just sickens me how they try to push aside whatever is not black. it seems to me that they are doing the opposite Voguing was trying to bring to the table. Unite and Uplift.
    The video clearly mentions founders of the movement. Yes they are important for what they created but the most important is why the created this dance. for me is irrelevant the colour of their skin, they are humans trying to overcome whatever bad situations they were in. the relevant point is their creation and what it means for those who experience it at the begining of the movement and what it means now.

  20. This video is so uplifting and positive, also something new. Great work Vox
    But how that woman pronounced Saint Laurent is funny(and incorrect).

  21. Thank you for correcting my image of the history of this type of dance! I didn't know any better, and I have a lot of friends in the LGBT+ community, so I want to learn about their history and help them feel safe and supported around me. (I might be some form of ace but right now I identify as either Questioning or straight.)

  22. The title is misleading. From what I know these Legendary Houses were created in response to racism faced within the white LGBT community at the time – especially in drag. We cannot ignore this, and, know just showing the Black and Latinx founders does not count as making that known.

  23. What people need to know about Voguing is that it releases an aura of energy no one else can understand. Voguing is different for everyone in its uniqueness.

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