Discrimination In Paris Is Burning

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Paris is Burning: Social Constructs in Society
Discrimination has always been prominent in mainstream society. Judgments are quickly formed based on one’s race, class, or gender. The idea that an individual’s self-worth is measured by their ethnicity or sexual preference has impacted the lives of many Americans. During the early colonial period, a social hierarchy was established with white landowners at the top and African-American slaves at the bottom. As equality movements have transpired, victims of discrimination have varied. In the late 1980’s when Paris is Burning was filmed, gay rights were still controversial in society. The lack of acceptance in conventional society created hardships in the lives of transgender women and gay men.
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In the late 1980s when the film was created, the LGBT community faced many stigmas. Subjects in the film spoke about the harsh treatment that they endured due to stereotypes. People in mainstream society were not fully comfortable with the idea of homosexuality due to its lack of publicity in the media. It was rare at that time to have homosexual characters on television, and many athletes and professionals did not come out due to fear of judgment. Because of this, people who were openly part of the LGBT community faced discrimination. The Harlem ball circuit allowed the subjects to embrace their sexuality and come together as minorities. The mutual bonds that the minorities shared provided a judgment-free zone to enjoy themselves and form lasting…show more content…
Just as the balls provided a home for those who are considered minorities in society, they united people of all races. One subject in the film described the concept of “throwing shade.” He described that instead of using offensive slurs, they would make humorous comments to each other. Participants poked fun at each other 's style or appearance, and sometimes physically competed through voguing. Although the subjects exchanged these jestering remarks, they did not discriminate based on race or ethnicity. Balls were a place of acceptance for all and preserved that value regardless of a person’s

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