Paris Is Burning (film)

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Paris Is Burning is a 1991 film about the Ball culture in New York City night life. It documents the challenges transgender women, gay men and drag queens faced in their daily lives as well as in their preparation for the ultra competitive ball circuit.

Directed by Jennie Livingston.
Having a ball... wish you were here (taglines)

Junior LaBeija[edit]

  • Come on now, it is a known fact that a woman do carry an evening bag at dinner time. There's no getting around that! You see it on channel seven, between "All My Children" and "Jeopardy","Another World", "Dallas", and the whole bit. An evening bag is a must! You have to carry something! No lady is sure at night.
  • O-P-U-L-E-N-C-E: Opulence! You own everything. Everything is yours.
  • Shake the dice and steal the rice!

Pepper LaBeija[edit]

  • When I first started going to balls it was all about drag queens who were interested in looking like Las Vegas showgirls, back pieces, tail pieces, feathers, beads and all that. But As the seventies rolled around the things started changing, it started coming down to just wanting to look like a gorgeous movie star like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor. And now they're went from that to trying to look like models; like Iman and Christie Brinkley and Maud Adams and all those children.

Dorian Corey[edit]

  • I always had hopes of being a big star. But as you get older, you aim a little lower. Everybody wants to make an impression, some mark upon the world. Then you think, you've made a mark on the world if you just get through it, and a few people remember your name. Then you've left a mark. You don't have to bend the whole world. I think it's better to just enjoy it. Pay your dues, and just enjoy it. If you shoot a arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you.
  • Shade comes from reading. Reading came first.
  • You get in a smart crack, and everyone laughs and kikis because you've found a flaw and exaggerated it, then you've got a good read going.
  • Shade is I don't tell you you're ugly but I don't have to tell you because you know you're ugly ... and that's shade.
  • In real life you can't get a job as an executive unless you have the educational background and the opportunity. Now, the fact that you are not an executive is merely because of the social standing of life. Black people have a hard time getting anywhere and those that do are usually straight. In a ballroom you can be anything you want. You're not really an executive but you're looking like an executive. You're showing the straight world that I can be an executive if I had the opportunity because can look like one, and that is like a fulfillment.
  • When they're undetectable and they can walk out of that ballroom into the sunlight and onto the subway and get home, and still have all their clothes and no blood running off their bodies- those are the femme realness queens... and usually its a category for young queens.

Venus Xtravaganza[edit]

  • Now you wanna talk about reading? Let's talk about reading. What is wrong with you, Pedro, are you going through it? You're going through some kind of psychological change in your life? You went back to being a man? Touch this skin, darling, touch this skin honey, touch all of this skin! Okay? You just can't take it! You're just an overgrown orangutan!
  • I don't feel like there's anything mannish about me, except maybe what I might have between me down there, which is my little personal thing, so...
  • And um, he's taking me out for dinner later this evening, or for cocktails after midnight. I know he'll give me some money just for me to maybe buy some shoes and a nice dress, so that the next time he sees me, he'll see me looking more and more beautiful, the way he wants to see me. But I don't have to go to bed with him, or anything like that. At times they do expect sexual favors, but that is between myself and them, so I don't want to talk about that any further. At most times, 99 percent of the time they don't. 95 percent of the time they don't. I feel like, if you're married? A woman, in the suburbs, a regular woman, if you want your husband to buy a washer and dryer set, I'm sure she'd have to go to bed with him, to give him something he wants, to get what she wants. So, in the long run, it all ends up the same way.

Paris Dupree[edit]

  • Sweetheart, with the cigarette. You're giving me a banji effect. This is banji.
  • You know, the girl you see on the street corner talking about, "Yo man, I saw one of them thangs walking down the street."
  • One who can take her baby brother to school.
  • One who can hang out with the roughest and the toughest.


  • Having a ball...wish you were here


External links[edit]

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