Paris Is Burning Essay

817 WordsDec 6, 20114 Pages
“Paris is Burning” is an exemplary documentary which can be used as a great reference that represents the many problems and fears for all kinds of people, especially homosexuals in an urban setting. The movie delves deep into the underground “ball” scene, which is a type of modeling event that people dress up in different outfits for. Gays from all over New York City would get together and hold these events which have a “runway modeling” feel to them, replacing the beautiful women with cross-dressing homosexuals of course. A curious thing about this scene are the “houses” which are formed which basically help many of the performers bond and protect each other, very much like a second family. Livingston interviews many of the performers, and manages to connect deeply with many of them. We quickly learn that a lot of the black and Latino gay community is involved in this, and their poverty is explored. Many, we learn, come from broken homes and have poor financial status in the community. Many of them even have children of their own, for example Pepper Labeija, and their struggles as homosexual parents are shown. As the documentary progresses, Livingston interviews many of the performers to reveal some of their deepest fears and struggles. Many of these performers have to deal with bigotry, poverty, and the spreading of HIV and AIDS. Despite this, many of the performers simply kept a cheery attitude while being interviewed and seem to keep home alive despite the incredible odds many of them have to overcome in order to survive in this cruel unforgiving world. Through their expression during the “balls”, many of them show their true side, and are able to show exactly everything that makes them proud to be themselves without the fear of being judged. Unfortunately, racism and homophobia is still a major problem in America to this day. Many of the characters portrayed

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