January 13, 2016 - Pittsburgh City Paper

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THIS WEEK

“BALLROOM IS OUR BABY. THAT’S WHAT BLACK GAY MEN PUT OUT TO THE WORLD.”

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Local artist James Simon, who created the giant musician statues on Liberty Avenue, shows us his Uptown garage studio full of larger-than-life sculptures. www.pghcitypaper.com

The Pittsburgh Public Market will be moving again, but its doors are open through April. See a photo slideshow of the vendors at www.pghcitypaper.com. Read our feature on the move on page 39.

This week: Lose yourself in the annual Galaxy Ball, brunch in drag, or salsa and bachata your weekend away.

{PHOTO BY SARAH HUNY YOUNG}

Ready to werk: (from left) John Easter, Summer Elite, Julian McClain and Duane Binion

MAIN EVENT

The podcast goes live every Wednesday at www.pghcitypaper.com.

CITY PAPER

INTERACTIVE

Instagrammer @dittman snapped this shot of a new mural recently painted by Jeremy Raymer in the Strip District. Tag your images as #CPReaderArt, and we just may re-gram you. Download our free app for a chance to win tickets to see Ron White on Jan. 23 at the Benedum Center. Contest ends Jan. 14.

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N JAN. 16, hundreds of femme

queens, butches, butch queens in drag and their fans will converge on the August Wilson Center for the third annual Galaxy Ball. Channeling witch doctors and the lost daughters of famed voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau, the most competitive of these guests will perform duck-walks and dramatic dips hoping to win more than $4,000 in cash prizes. What does it take to win in ballroom, a decades-old, male/female binary-busting tradition birthed by black gay men in 1960s Harlem? It takes pageantry, imagination and attitude — infinite attitude. Galaxy Ball: Voodoo is presented by local nonprofit True T Entertainment, part

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 01.13/01.20.2016

of Pittsburgh’s historic underground ballroom community, in partnership with the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force (PATF). Admission to the Galaxy Ball is free with on-site HIV testing or the completion of a PATF survey during the pre-ball mixer.

Pittsburgh’s Galaxy Ball takes center stage {BY DEESHA PHILYAW} Previous Galaxy Balls have been held in December to coincide with World AIDS Day. True T co-founder Duane Binion, 29, says, “This year, we decided to hold the event during Martin Luther King Jr. week-

end, at the August Wilson Center, as a celebration of the black community as well as our annual HIV/AIDS prevention ball. The new venue makes Galaxy more visible, and we welcome those who have a genuine interest in learning more about ball culture.” This year’s Galaxy Ball is expected to draw attendees from around the region and from as far away as California and Canada. The pre-ball mixer will feature music, an open bar and more. At the main event, participants will “walk” (compete) in roughly 30 categories. Rules for each category demand high fashion and high drama. “Historically, ballroom has been an underground Hollywood for the gay CONTINUES ON PG. 08