Miami (Not Paris) Was Burning

They treat each other like sisters, or brothers, or mothers. You know like I say, ‘that’s my sista,’ because she’s gay too and I’m gay.

Paris Is Burning was shown tonight at O Cinema in Wynwood as a precursor to the 2015 Reading Queer  Literary Festival happening November 18-22 in downtown Miami.  Watching this film for the first time, in a gentrified area of Miami…with its hipster, culturally lacking audience (mainstream gay community representing the privileged of south Florida)  I literally felt transported back to a time where people of color were ridiculed for not being at the same social economic level as the majority of the audience members in attendance.  The film is about a culture of humans whom accepted each other for their flaws, used the culture’s activity to provide a COMMUNITY of hard love, acceptance and sustenance for each other.  The community in attendance was VERY out of touch, laughing at the fashion and scenes of the times (1997 vs 2015) and completely missing the point of uplifting a community of people vs bashing and making fun of the presentation before them; very similar to the cliques of the gay culture and the plastic-ness of the “Miami facade”.   Behaviors don’t change much through the decades; but most would probably think I’m being too sensitive to the matter.

Flashback to 2010 when I was a budding photographer, doing my best to support anything of the LGBTQ culture in South Florida (see images from the Cirque du Ninja Ball on Soul Of Miami).  Now I continue to question if it’s even worth my effort to attempt to continue supporting the LGBTQ, when the culture is so unforgiving to anyone it deems unworthy due to their social economic status (or lack thereof).

Round 2 is Wednesday November 18th at the Olympia Theater, a follow up reading of Paris Is Burning, followed by a ball just like in the movie.  Hopefully next week’s experience will be better received than tonight.

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