In ballroom, members or ‘kids’ of competing houses grace the runway serving their best moves and faces to earn the admiration and respect of the crowd and judges. Ballroom is a competitive but loving culture of mostly black and brown queer people looking to express themselves freely and be a part of a community that shares their passion. The foundation of ballroom culture as we know it today was cultivated by Crystal LaBeija and fortified by other black and Latinx trans women such as Dorian Corey, Paris Dupree, Angie Xtravaganza and Pepper LaBeija – the pioneering foremothers of the ballroom scene.
In a time where the LGBTQ+ community has had to fight for a world that accepts their love and bodies as natural, many have found safe havens within the culture’s ‘houses’ – groups of people who unite under a common last name and refer to each other as chosen family who compete in ballroom as a house, but more importantly walk through life beyond ballroom together. The houses of ball culture are the ultimate support system. Cassius’ ‘Home Is Where The House Is’, is a two-part story that follows a father and a mother of two different houses. We go behind the scenes to illustrate the bonds that make a house a family in a way we rarely see in media.
In this first video we meet Chasity ‘Tempress’ Moore, the iconic and well known founding queen mother of The House of Maison Margiela; a “ keep your foot on their neck ” house coming off the heels of celebrating its one-year anniversary. Tempress is an Icon in the Ballroom scene, meaning she has been in the game for over twenty years and is respected for her evolution and signature face. We see how her journey as a trans woman has given her the confidence to lead her house with an emphasis on excellence, bonding and fun. We hear how the support of her parents and immediate family during her childhood influences her idea of home and how she goes about building a strong foundation for her house.
‘Home is Where The House Is’ paints a modern picture of what it means to build a strong foundation and lasting legacy as a trans mother figure and queer father figure in ballroom. Each video offers a raw and intimate introduction to each parent’s personal histories. We journey with them to reveal layers of their stories and trace how their childhoods shape their ballroom parenting styles. There’s no shortage of genuine stories that highlight ‘family’ within the LGBTQ+ community. ‘Home is Where The House Is’ not only redefines home but reminds us that the magic of love is alive at the center of any strong family, no matter gender race or orientation.