My Experience At The Gay Xmas Party

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On December 10th, I attended the “8th Annual Big Gay Xmas Party”. It was held at one of Madison’s most popular gay bars/dance clubs, Plan B. The Facebook event advertisement read as follows:
“This December make the season gay and bright with Plan B as we celebrate the holidays the only way we know how... GAY! Join us at our 8th Annual Big Gay Xmas Party featuring DJ CMK and DJ Chomper! Special performances by Karizma Mirage, Sasha Daniels, and Kimaera Mirage. Go-go dancers and more! Absolut drink specials all night long. And if you are lucky you might even get to sit on Santa 's lap... So come get your yule log stoked here at The B. Dance More. Smile More. B More. Bring 3 non-perishable food items for free cover!”
This was my third time attending
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They were wearing afros, had dramatically over-drawn lips, and were yelling phrases from African American Vernacular English, often incorrectly, such as “yasss hunty” and “throwing shade”. While they did this, they were getting plenty of praise from the mostly white crowd, which made me and my partner uncomfortable. I felt like I was watching a caricature of my culture. This reminded me of the “The Drag Queen and the Mummy” reading, where Dorian Corey stated “When I grew up, of course, you know, black stars were stigmatized. Nobody wanted to look like Lena Home. Everybody wanted to look like Marilyn Monroe." (Conlon, p.138) What I witnessed did not remind me of this quote because it was an example of it, but because it was the opposite, but in a negative way. While Ball culture and Drag culture are different, people would attend Balls in drag, and drag contests are clearly inspired by Ball culture with the dancing and lip-syncing. And so, it is interesting to see how the euro-centric “passing” fashion in Ball culture was morphed into exaggerated, culturally appropriative, nearly modern day black face by Drag culture. The femininity of black trans women and drag queens was stolen and hyper-feminized by white drag queens. The drag queens we saw did not necessarily want to “look like Lena Horne” either, but they wanted to imitate and create a laugh out of her, it seems. The article that addresses this in a more direct manner, “Aww Hell Naw: White Gays and Inner Black Women”,

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