Performance as Intravention: Ballroom Culture and the Politics of HIV/AIDS in Detroit

Marlon M. Bailey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Houses are chosen-family kinship groups that compete against one another for fame and money. The ballroom culture Bailey describes has a six-part gender system: butch queens, femme queens (trans women), butch queens up in drags, butches, women, and men (heterosexual males who live as men). Perhaps more importantly, out of the limited scholarship on Ballroom culture, the disproportionate impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on its members has barely been mentioned let alone examined. By and large, the research on HIV/AIDS and culture has been produced in disparate domains of scholarship. Recent trends in performance studies, however, have opened a space to examine not only the theatrical and quotidian dimensions of performance, but also the relationship between performance and social change as well. Ballroom members perform the labor of caring for and the valuing of lives that are integral to building and sustaining a community in the midst of crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Transgender Studies Reader Remix
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000606652
ISBN (Print)9781032072722
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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