When I was working non-profit arts admin in Chicago, I helped organize with a special little group of divas branching out from their underground vogue scene into performance art. The glam-gals, a collective of young beauties, came together every week at Young Chicago Authors to swap stories, dance, practice, shit talk and chill in a safe space, away from the noise and pressures of their hectic, sometimes violent lives. See, vogue is still a hard knocks scene in Chicago, held in warehouses and secret dance studios, sometimes public clubs and in the street. It’s a taxing, brutal world, where the lovely ladies create and compete in a cut throat arena against other “Houses,” themselves, each other and gender conformity. But, you already know all that.
Aside from the giant scene in New York and the notoriety of Paris is Burning, the girls I worked with confided that being a young Latin@ in the midwest vogue-world was rough. When I first saw Alex Anwandter‘s art last year I knew he was pulling from queer-culture. When I saw him perform at SXSW this year, and talked to him after the show, I asked him about his own sexual preference, quite professionally. But, what I got was a round about answer and an offer to sip on his beer with him in the private corner we found to converse. Irregardless of his sexuality, Anwandter confirms his right to fierceness. I’m honored to write even a fraction of my own experience and appreciative admiration on this Latin American interpretive and appropriate re-appropriation of subcultures. Anwandter arouse intellect, art and transfusion of aesthetics and queer realities across the queer-nation. This one’s for you, girlfriend.