Ballroom Scene, The

The ballroom scene is a community comprising primarily African American and Latina/o gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth and young adults. The ballroom culture has its roots in the annual Harlem balls of the 1920s, drag shows involving working-class, mostly African American men under the age of 30 performing in elaborate female attire. In addition to offering entertainment for spectators at these annual balls, young men dressed in women’s attire, or “in drag,” competed in costume competitions for cash prizes. Over the years, the ballroom scene has become more inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. This entry is intended to provide a brief overview of the ballroom scene, and what are known as ...

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