Logo’s coverage of the 2019 Latex Ball brought the house and ball community’s cultural gathering of the year to Logo’s audience around the globe – in photo, in video, and in social media. The event centers around young queer people of color and focuses on HIV treatment and prevention and LGBTQ youth homelessness, and our objective was to draw attention to the solidarity, support, and beauty that arises from this marginalized community coming together in celebration.
Our strategy in producing the package was to leverage the popularity of house and ballroom culture due to the runaway success of FX’s “Pose” in order to bring attention to the historical need for, and real people and real preparations that go into, The Latex Ball. Many of the young queer people of color in the house scene are ostracized by their own families due to their sexual orientations or gender identities, and the houses operate as surrogate families for those that need them. A key feature of the package was to illuminate the people who hold the ad hoc family units together, specifically the house mothers and fathers, and the veterans (“legends” and “icons” in ballroom lexicon) who provide inspiration and instruction about the history and traditions of ballroom – and about how to put on a fierce performance.
In ten videos, Logo’s coverage included: interviews with house mothers and fathers; coverage of houses’ preparations for their categories at The Latex Ball; interviews at the event with competitors and ballroom legends and icons; a memorial for beloved ballroom legend Hector Xtravaganza; reflections by staff and leaders at GMHC (the event’s sponsor for 29 years) on the history and relevance of The Latex Ball in NYC’s queer community, including new interviews and archive material; and the remarkable movement and vibrancy of the competition at the 2019 event.
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