Calling all femme and butch drag queens, sex sirens and voguers: it's time to strike a pose for the camera. Elegance Bratton's first photography book is in an intimate look at the contemporary House Ballroom movement in New York, an underground society where black and Latino LGBT people can find fame and family as part of the House scene.
"These Houses sponsor Balls, do HIV/AIDS outreach, and mentor young queer people from childhood through adulthood," Bratton notes in his introduction. "They travel the Ballroom circuit competing against one another and dozens of other Houses for trophies, titles and cash... The legacy of the House is decided on the floor."
And what a floor it is: a place where victory is determined by everything from the bop in your step to the womanly smoothness of your chin, where you can go from daytime street hustling to serving cunty, goddess-worshipping realness once the sun goes down.
As Bratton puts it: "At night we are forgiven for romantic misadventures and allowed to costume... It is at night that we can be together."