Campus Life

QTPOCS celebrates BIPOC LGBTQ+ culture with first-ever ball

Written for The Argo by Zuleika Rodriguez Garcia

On Monday, March 27, the Queer and Transgender People of Color Society (QTPOCS), hosted its first ball at The Lakeside Lodge. The event was meant to bring aspects of the ballroom scene to Stockton and featured contests, catering, and mocktails. 

Members of QTPOCS celebrate Ball culture. Photo courtesy of Mo Keane

QTPOCS is an organization that aims to bring a sense of community for minority LGBTQ+ students at Stockton, which is considered to be a predominantly white institution. in the weeks leading up to the event, the QTPOCS E-board gave presentations about the subculture to its members to educate the community about the history of the scene. 

Guests of the event were greeted with colorful feather boas and glow sticks, adding a welcoming air to the already colorful ambiance. The music featured at the event included a wide range of African-American and Latinx artists, a reflection of those who started the ballroom scene. 

According to QTPOCS President Mo Keane, “Ball culture is inherent in the BIPOC LGBTQ+ scene. It was one of the first “safe spaces”, especially for gender nonconforming and trans people of color (and in general). Being able to subvert heteronormative and cis-normative culture and embrace queer authenticity is crucial to the survival and thriving of LGBTQ+ individuals in the community both here and universally. It is a place where our identities and non-conformity are celebrated, revered even, as opposed to shamed and stigmatized.”

The ballroom scene was started by African American and Latinx members of the LGBTQ+ community as an underground culture in the 1920s. Traditions of the subculture include several categories that all revolve around some form of expression. There are categories for more feminine-identifying people as well as more masculine and anywhere in between. The QTPOCS Ball featured several of these events, consisting of the competitors taking turns showing off their skills and personalities in the middle of an aisle surrounded by support from the audience. Common categories include Butch Queen, Drag Queen, Trans Male, Femme Queen, and Butch Realness as well as face-offs like Femme Queen Face. 

For more information on Ball Categories and the Ballroom Scene Visit: and world/ 

For more information about QTPOCS visit their OspreyHub Webpage.