In the News
The Know Your Rights Ball
Monday August 13, 2012
source: WBAI 99.5 ~ OutFM
LGBT youth, especially LGBT youth of color, have historically called the West Village and the Christopher Street Pier their home—a place where they can be who they are without the threat of fear or violence. Yet every day, LGBT youth continue to report sharp increases of police harassment, false arrest, and racial and gender profiling in the West Village.
In response, on Saturday, August 11th, FIERCE, a youth-led organization of LGBTQ youth of color, along with the Kiki Coalition and Friends of Hudson River Park, organized their fourth annual Know Your Rights kiki Ball on the pier. Kiki balls are youth-led extravaganzas featuring voguing and performing runway in various categories, as immortalized in the (problematic but influential) documentary Paris is Burning. Saturday's Know Your Rights kiki ball featured categories critiquing stop and frisk, the privatization of queer public space, and other issues relevant to this community.
Out-FM was there to speak with three members of FIERCE about Saturday's ball, the ballroom scene's significance to the LGBT youth of color communities that use the piers as queer public space, and FIERCE's work to preserve the community and the character of the piers.
Click here to listen to the 11-minute interview.
We also spoke with other participants at the kiki ball.
Click here to listen to our 3-minute interview with Dante, whose kiki category is schoolboy realness.
Click here to listen to our 3-minute interview with Platinum, who is a peer educator with the Hetrick Martin Institute and who walks runway, best-dressed labels, and face.
The photos below are courtesy Nerdscarf Photo. Check out more of their photos from the ball.