I semi watched and mostly listened to the light BBC 3 documentary Deep in Vogue the other day which was a celebration of the colourful, queer, emotional and political stories of Northern Vogue. In the past I had watched a couple of episodes of Pose, so I already was familiar with The Ballroom Scene, an African-American and Latino underground LGBTQ+ subculture that originated in New York (note to self: I should make some time in my binge-watching schedule to see the rest of Pose). I wasn’t aware however that this subculture is currently still vibrantly alive in Northern England where people have made it their own.
Of course back in the day when Madonna got inspired by the Ball Scene and had a massive hit with the song Vogue, I hadn’t the foggiest of clues where she got that from. For me it was just a catchy song about a kind of dance. I was 14 and we didn’t have the internet back then and this wasn’t the kind of thing one was going to find in the popular youth magazines in 1990. While today’s fight for equal rights and respect for anyone who’s on the LGBTQ+ spectrum is far from over, at least we’ve come a long way in terms of visibility and young people at least stand a better chance at seeing something / someone on TV (or a streaming service, more likely) they can identify with. I’ve been absolutely binging on the LGBTQ+ offer on Netflix although after all that I still kinda am left thinking: where do all the quiet gays go?