A part of Newark’s culture we seldom hear about is getting attention from Mayor Booker, for promoting AIDS prevention and fighting discrimination…From The Star Ledger:
These days, the House of Jourdan and seven other gay “houses” in Newark are finally getting respect. The city’s gay ball subculture — in which men and women compete in rituals of posing and runway walking, sometimes as the opposite gender — is earning a place for itself in civic life, with outreach efforts and charity drives
And nowhere is that more surprising than in Newark, a city with no openly gay nightlife, where the 4-year-old murder of 15-year-old lesbian Sakia Gunn, killed for rejecting a man’s advances, is still invoked as a symbol of intolerance.
Mayor Cory Booker, along with Newark Councilman Ronald Rice Jr., even took the unusual step of campaigning at Newark balls two years ago.
“I wasn’t just going to lend political support,” he says. “They’re just a lot of fun.”
Popular with transsexuals and cross-dressers, they are normally events a politician would avoid. But Booker calls the balls “an important thing in terms of the spiritual growth of the city.”
Let’s talk about culture in Newark…