Auckland City’s social cognition as a civic centre and cultural hub of Aotearoa has been sleeping on queer brown B O D I E S for some time. For years it has engineered diversity with its salt and pepper programing, seasoning its festivals with our flavour in exchange for a cute lil koha and gold coin donation / participation. But last night in Auckland Central something shifted making this lazy bitch woke to the bare naked truth – This is what agency looks like when you exercise a refusal to be kept, chucking out any expectations for someone else to top-up your glass!!
It’s easy to talk about cultural inclusion from the outside because your positions are etched in stone trapping you in a two prong argument of right and wrong that never resolves. The left maintain their reasoning for feeling excluded while the right maintain that it’s all in our heads. The only way out of this entanglement is to disrupt the entire process and for queer people of colour that sometimes means using our bodies. The queer brown folk occupying Aucklands nether regions and social outpost (East, West and South) came through and changed this sleepy social paradigm for good.
The B O D Y Vogue Ball saw the culmination of four years of roots ground-work play out on a central stage and FAFSWAGS teething proms have all but dissipated. But let’s be real. All though the FAFSWAG ball is flexing her new leg muscles she still has to do that shit in six inch stilettos.
Birthed in Otara South Auckland FAFSWAGS original Vogue ball struggled as an event from first time insecurities and a mild identity crisis. It was her first time in DRAG at a ball. In all honesty it would have been fair to give her the chop. Her runway was messy, her vogue was stunty as fuck and “Her makeup wasn’t looking beautiful tonight”. Over all she had a long way to go as far as Vogue Balls was concerned.
The B OD Y Vogue Ball speaks to the shifting tides for a cultural movement that has since its origins in NYC, generated and inspired a globalised voice for marginal societies. Last night was true to this fashion and authenticity for a community living those lines and treading those marginal spaces. Not in theory but in real world ways. As host and custodians of that space we’re honoured to have you share your truth with us and unlike Auckland City we’re happy to have you keep shit real without bartering away your cultural capital for chump change.
Now to the love… Our foremost gratitude goes to the Vogue community that showed out and filled the space with your beautiful brown bodies. Thank you to all the new and familiar faces for gracing our ball room floor with your presence. Without you none of this shit is possible and all this social discourse and cultural sparring is redundant. Don’t ever forget that. You are the scene, you are the culture and you are the movement. Take it, love it, own it, it is yours!!
Congratulations to all the grand prize winners. Thanks for providing us with benchmarks for the next event. You came, you saw, you slayed.
SOFT N CUNT – Darren / Envy Millan
RUNWAY – Pati
FEMALEFIGURE – Jaycee
DRAG PERFORMANCE – Moe
DRAMATICS – Sam
Thank you to our judges FALENCIE, HUKA HORI, AMY, REUELU, ROSE.
Thank you our performers THE JAACKERS.
Thank you to our DJ Reina Sutton.
Thank you to our sponsors and supporters, NIU FM, PAPERBAG PRINCESS, LOVE YOUR CONDOM, FAMILY BAR DOWN UNDER.
Last but not least can we all just give it up for this bitch, the hostess with the mostess, her cunty chantress extravaganza TAUFA FISINAUA. Thank you boo, you’re a life force to be reckoned with and your fire on the mic had the whole thing lit from beginning to end.
As a final thought we leave you with The B O D Y Vogue Ball mantra and theme.
It’s all about self-love / loving thy body / passion / self-defence / dreaming big / Minding your own fucking business / and if you follow the rules you too can get this body…