The flamboyant 'vogueing' youth from the Kiki scene in New York turn this colourful documentary filled with feathers, wigs and glitters into a visual extravaganza. At the same time, it is painful to see how the LGBTQ youth is discriminated and rejected.
Kiki is a subculture within the New York ballroom scene: it is more than a dance club or a place for extravagant drag queens. The clubs where the racially diverse LGBTQ youth converge are called 'houses' and are mostly playfully named after famous fashion brands. These houses offer dancing lessons and contest, but also provide a safe haven and second family for these youths. Many of them have already had to deal with exclusion and discrimination from a very young age, often forcing them to live on the streets. Some turn to prostitution to support themselves.
Founder and 'father' of one of the Kiki houses is Twiggy Pucci Garçon. He is the passionate leader of the Opulent Haus of PUCCI. Together with Swedish director Sara Jordenö, he takes the audience along into the vibrant heart of this powerful community and provides a unique perspective into the special subculture filled with glamour, friendship and inspiring leadership. But not all that glitters is gold. Besides the dancing contests displaying eclectic outfits, we are also confronted with harsh realities: the danger of diseases, street life and sex work. We also see people discussing politics and the issues surrounding sex changes.
In addition to being the leader of the Opulent Haus of PUCCI, Twiggy Pucci Garçon has become the frontman of the Kiki movement, speaking about it around the globe. He also works as Senior Programme Officer with the True Colors Fund, where he fights for homeless LGBTQ youth. Twiggy Pucci Garçon will be attending this year's festival as one of the activists in the A Matter of ACT programme, read more about him here.
Text: Annika Wubbolt