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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME

A celebration of Harlem’s Eighties ball scene, queer family drama series Pose aired in the US last summer, winning acclaim from both the community whose stories it seeks to tell — and a wider audience
FLIP THE SCRIPT: Steven Canals came up with Pose while on a screen-writing course

Spearheaded by television supremo Ryan Murphy, Pose made headlines around the world for assembling a cast that includes five transgender actors as series regulars. Nominated for two Golden Globes (including best drama TV series), this important series finally reaches our shores in March.

Many will be familiar with the idea of ball culture from the seminal 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, in which director Jennie Livingston spends time with various members of the New York scene’s “houses” (chosen families), often from LGBT+ and African-American or Latino backgrounds.

Today, ball culture is most visible in shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race, but Paris Is Burning is essential queer viewing for those wishing to understand how Mother Ru became a global phenomenon.

For those who’ve not yet ticked it of their Queer 101 viewing list, the film documents the lives of marginalised performers who meet for balls to showcase their individuality and creativity by performing and voguing in “categories.”

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About Attitude

On the cover: The BODY issue starring NYC go-go turned Insta-star Matthew Camp Inside: Pose. Simon Amstell. Dr Ranj Singh. Plus: what it’s like to be a trans man in the gym.