In an exclusive short film from Buzzfeed, out filmmaker Eugene Lee Yang is calling on us all to remember the “gloriously gay” roots of ball culture.
The History of Queer Dance, directed and produced by Yang and set to “Gon Blow (ft. Rye Rye)” by gay artist Cakes da Killa, pays homage to the history of queer dance through the point of view of a young man voguing in his home (Elijah Mack). It’s meant to honor the drag queens and trans people of color who originated the tradition, Yang tells NewNowNext.
Today, series like RuPaul’s Drag Race have brought queer dance lingo and traditions to mainstream audiences, but the subculture wasn’t always so readily accepted.
Yang believes the general public is woefully ignorant to the traditions of queer house and ballroom cultures—and he hopes The History of Queer Dance can help change that.
“If you’ve ever ’thrown shade’ or ’spilled the tea,’ you are echoing a deep, rich, very queer tradition dating back to 1960s Harlem ball culture,” Yang says. “It’s a shame that such coded phrasing has been mistakenly associated with basic girls drunkenly squealing at a bachelorette party. It’s especially imperative to attribute how we speak—and, yes, even how we dance—to the appropriate who, when, where, and why.”
Watch The History Of Queer Dance below.