Having enjoyed both series of Pose – I started watching it mainly for the ’80s music, but got really into it! – I was very interested to hear about the vogue ballroom scene in Manchester and Liverpool. I could have done with more about the history and culture and less about the actual choreography, but, OK, that’s just a personal thing. The main message coming from it was that this is something which has given a lot of confidence to people who, whether because of their ethnicity, their sexuality, their sexual identity or even their gender (society doesn’t do a very good job of giving women confidence) have felt marginalised and unsure of themselves. It’s wonderful when anything can do that – and it’s very sad that, because of the current situation, a lot of people are cut off from dancing, singing, sports, religious services, playing cards, or whatever else it is that does that for them. But this was a lovely, positive, hour’s watching. Anyone feel like writing a Pose-type series set in North West England 🙂 ?
One of the people interviewed made a very good point about how it’s often minority groups who take the lead when it comes to music or other creative forms. That’s certainly true, and it’s a point I’ve heard made in other programmes. At the same time, there was also a lot of talk about inclusivity. There’s been some criticism of Madonna, as a white, straight woman, for getting into voguing, but everyone interviewed on this programme said that it’s for everyone who wants to be involved, and I thought that was great. There are obviously issues if something gets over-commercialised and taken away from its roots, but that wasn’t what was happening here. It was about people expressing themselves in a way that works for them, and about a voguing community that provides friendship and emotional support and a safe place for people.
It was interesting to hear that the voguing style in Manchester and Liverpool is noticeably different from that in London. In the ’80s – my music collection has never got out of the ’80s! – there was a lot of regional variation in music, and it sometimes seems that everything’s got a bit samey and globalised, in the same way that High Streets and a lot of other things have. So I was really pleased to hear that different parts of the country are doing their own thing where voguing’s concerned. We don’t all need to be the same!
And, on that same theme, some points were made about voguing helping people to get away from the pressure to conform to stereotypes – one man was talking about people being refused entry to gay clubs for not “looking” gay. This is something that’s been in the news lately, with Priti Patel talking about the racism she’s faced because she doesn’t conform to the stereotype of what a British Asian woman should be like, and a lot of assumptions are made about what people should think or wear or look like because of their ethnicity or religion or sexuality or anything else. Everyone is an individual and everyone should feel free to express themselves in their own way, and that was a lot of what this programme was saying. As I said, a really nice programme. Anyone feel like writing a Pose-type series set in North West England 🙂 ?