Wednesday night SRU’s Pride Center will be hosting a movie night from 6:30-7:30 p.m. They will be featuring a movie titled “Paris is Burning,” a documentary highlighting the 80’s ballroom culture in NYC for LGBT Black and Brown people in the community.
Desolina Valenti, a senior student worker in the Pride Center, described what the ballroom culture was like.
“They formed basically a community of themselves like a family in these ballrooms,” Valenti said. “They would do dances, fashion and stuff. They would have houses and these houses would be like their own kind of found family.”
She added, “They don’t get a lot of support from their own families and that’s one thing that the film explores.”
This film serves a purpose for both the Pride Center and their contribution to Black History Month. It includes LGBT history that is important to discuss but has a very powerful message pertaining to Black history as a whole.
These ballrooms were specifically for Black and Brown members of the LGBT community where they had their own space. There was also a very similar ballroom culture that was for white members of the LGBT community.
Valenti talks about this separation in the LGBT community by saying, “They [white LGBT members] were racist and weren’t as accepting of people of other races, so it’s important to look at the culture that came out of that oppression.”
The theme of racism in the LGBT community is still able to be observed today. Valenti gave her opinion on this.
“We can make LGBT culture more inclusive of other races so that they don’t feel so excluded and like they have to make their own culture,” Valenti said. “. . .I don’t know if there is, but I feel like there should be more inclusion for LGBT students of color on campus, because I think what we have now isn’t exactly the best.”
After watching this film, discussion will most likely revolve around what these ballroom cultures meant to these people and the dynamic between white and people of color in the LGBT community in the 80s.
The Pride Center got involved with Black History Month earlier this month by participating in a social media campaign where they posted different Black women and Black LGBT people in history and brought attention to what they did. They also hosted a Rock Talk discussing what America means for LGBT people of color.
Information regarding the Pride Center’s Movie Night can be found on CORE.