Detroit’s black and Latino LGBTQ communities

Professor of Gender Studies and American Studies at Indiana University, Marlon M. Bailey presents his rich first-person performance ethnography and memoir of dance, dress, and vogue ballroom competitions in Detroit’s black and Latino LGBTQ communities. By sharing his stories and experiences, Bailey demonstrates the ways such cultural formations are spaces of resistance that disrupt dominant notions of gender, sexuality, and community, and create alternative kinship structures.


Marlon M. Bailey, Professor of Gender Studies and American Studies at Indiana University. Professor Bailey’s book, Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit, a performance ethnography of Ballroom culture, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2013. Butch Queens Up in Pumps won the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize from the GL/Q Caucus at the Modern Language Association (MLA) and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Book Award in LGBT studies. Dr. Bailey has published essays in Feminist Studies, Souls, The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, AIDS Patient Care & STDs, LGBT Health, and in several book collections. Marlon’s essay “Engendering Space: Ballroom Culture and the Spatial Practice of Possibility in Detroit” appears in the Themed Issue for which he is also the co-editor, entitled “Gender and Sexual Geographies of Blackness” in Gender, Place, and Culture: The Journal of Feminist Geography.Bailey is also an accomplished actor, director, and performance artist. He has performed at professional theatres in San Francisco, Washington DC, Louisville, Minneapolis, and Detroit. He most recently performed a piece based on his new research entitled, “Exploring Black Queer Sex, Love, and Life in the Age of AIDS,” at the University of Texas, Austin. Professor Bailey is also a Visiting Professor at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, in the Department of Medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco. Marlon holds a PhD in African American Studies with a designated emphasis in Gender, Women, and Sexuality from the University of California-Berkeley. Dr. Bailey is also on the Board of Directors of Brothers United, a Black gay HIV/AIDS prevention agency in Indianapolis. He is also a member of the Black Sexual Economies Working Group.

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