"There was always a feminine side to me. I was pulled into someone's office at my church where they told me that if I didn't change how I was, I would be asked to leave. God loves all, but you are tellin' me that because I'm this way, I can't be here? And that didn't click in my mind. It still doesn't make sense to me. I've been a part of the mainstream ballroom scene since 2004. I was 14. Paris Is Burning was definitely an epic film for our community. People started to understand what is a ball, what are the categories, what happens there, what is a house? I have a butch queen mother, a femme queen mother, and a butch queen father. If you've been rejected by your biological family, right, or you've been kicked out or shunned, whatever the case may be, you have this surrogate family. Ballroom is a competition. But a house is more than just a competition. That house is a real family."
Twiggy Pucci Garcon is a ballroom performer/founder of the Kiki's Scene's House of Pucci and community health specialist.
Text adapted from HBO's The Out List.
More In This Series
Black, LGBT, American: A Search for Sanctuaries
Don Lemon: A Sense of Otherness
Wanda Sykes: On Being Real
Laverne Cox: Threat or Threatened
Twiggy Garcon: Ballroom at 14
Doug Spearman: Breaking the Code
Janora McDuffie: My Obligation
Aaron Walton: Angelic Troublemakers
Editor's Letter: Black and LGBT in America