Strike a Pose: Scenes from the 21st Annual House of Latex Ball

Rebecca Smeyne

The Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) hosted their 21st annual House of Latex Ball, an event with a reported four-thousand attendees, at the Roseland Ballroom on Saturday night. The Latex Ball offers six consecutive hours of runway contests in a multitude of categories in the realms of dance, vogue-ing (this is where Madonna got the idea), modeling, and fashion design, all accompanied by rowdy, tireless emcees. The House of Latex was formed by GMHC in 1989 "to link [Ball and House] community members with resources to improve their health outcomes."  The event featured stage-side tables for many active houses in the Ball scene including Xtravaganza, Khan, Mizrahi, Revlon, Garcon, Infiniti and Evisu. Examples of categories included "Old Way vs. New Way vs. Arms Control," "Butch Realness with a Twist," "Fem Queen Face," and our personal favorite, "Open to All Bizarre" (see: photo of costume with huge silver inflatable swan epaulets and five-foot tall white flowery hat). We went to witness the spectacle, and took photos of some of our favorite contestants.

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