Gender and Everything else in Paris is Burning Discussion Forum –


Please discuss the film, Paris is Burning, using the following questions as a guide.

1) What examples can you think of from the ballroom scenes that touch on gender expression? Think about how both masculinity and femininity were presented by participants.

2) How do the participants in Paris is Burning, such as Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, Octavia St. Laurent, Venus Xtravaganza, Angie Xtravaganza, and Brooke Xtravaganza, discuss their gender presentation? How do they appear on screen? (Note: all of the individuals mentioned here preferred the pronouns “she/her,” please use these when referring to them in your answer).

3) While this film gives an example of gender expression in the 1980s NYC ball scene, it is also an example of language, race and ethnicity, class, family and kinship, and health and well-being (violence, and HIV – several performers later died of HIV-related illnesses). In social science, we say that these issues intersect with each other. What comments do you have about the intersectionality in this film?

4) This film was not made by an anthropologist. Do you think it works as an ethnography? Why?

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