And the Category Is… Paperback by Ricky Tucker

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And the Category Is… Paperback by Ricky Tucker

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Product Details

  • Publisher: Beacon Press (2022-09-13)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • ISBN-13: 9780807007327
  • Item Weight: 385.56 grams
  • Dimensions: 9.0 x 6.0 x 0.7 cm

A 2023 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Nonfiction

An Electric Literature “Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Book of 2022” Selection

A love letter to the legendary Black and Latinx LGBTQ underground subculture, uncovering its abundant legacy and influence in popular culture.

What is Ballroom? Not a song, a documentary, a catchphrase, a TV show, or an individual pop star. It is an underground subculture founded over a century ago by LGBTQ African American and Latino men and women of Harlem. Arts-based and intersectional, it transcends identity, acting as a fearless response to the systemic marginalization of minority populations.

Ricky Tucker pulls from his years as a close friend of the community to reveal the complex cultural makeup and ongoing relevance of house and Ballroom, a space where trans lives are respected and applauded, and queer youth are able to find family and acceptance. With each chapter framed as a “category” (Vogue, Realness, Body, et al.), And the Category Is . . . offers an impressionistic point of entry into this subculture, its deeply integrated history, and how it’s been appropriated for mainstream audiences. Each category features an exclusive interview with fierce LGBTQ/POC Ballroom members—Lee Soulja, Benjamin Ninja, Twiggy Pucci Garçon, and more—whose lives, work, and activism drive home that very category.

At the height of public intrigue and awareness about Ballroom, thanks to TV shows like FX’s Pose, Tucker’s compelling narratives help us understand its relevance in pop culture, dance, public policy with regard to queer communities, and so much more. Welcome to the norm-defying realness of Ballroom.

About the Author

Ricky Tucker is a writer, an educator, and a culture critic based in NYC. His work explores the imprints of art and memory on narrative, and the absurdity of most fleeting moments. He has written for the Paris Review, Tenth Magazine, Literary Hub, and Public Seminar, among others, and has performed for reading series including the Moth Grand SLAM, Sister Spit, Born: Free, and Spark London. His LA Times best-selling debut, And the Category Is . . . : Inside New York’s Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community, was chosen by Pitchfork as one of its 15 Best Music Books of 2022, and is now a finalist for the 2023 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ+ Nonfiction. Connect with him at thewriterrickytucker.com.


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