AND THE CATEGORY IS... An Afternoon with Ricky Tucker *IN-PERSON*

To kick off Pride season, join the DC Public Library and Loyalty Bookstores for an afternoon of rich conversation with Ricky Tucker, author of And the Category Is...: Inside New York's Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community. Joined by the House of Garcon's Michael Roberson and Reginald Douglas of Mosaic Theater, Ricky will discuss his love letter to New York's ballroom community and its abundant legacy and influence in popular culture. 

Books will be available for purchase, and a limited number will be given away courtesy of the DC Public Library Foundation**This event is free to attend, but please register on DCPL's website.**


What is Ballroom? Not a song, a documentary, a catchphrase, a TV show, or an individual pop star. It is an underground subculture founded over a century ago by LGBTQ African American and Latino men and women of Harlem. Arts-based and intersectional, it transcends identity, acting as a fearless response to the systemic marginalization of minority populations.

Ricky Tucker pulls from his years as a close friend of the community to reveal the complex cultural makeup and ongoing relevance of house and Ballroom, a space where trans lives are respected and applauded, and queer youth are able to find family and acceptance. With each chapter framed as a "category" (Vogue, Realness, Body, et al.), And the Category Is . . . offers an impressionistic point of entry into this subculture, its deeply integrated history, and how it's been appropriated for mainstream audiences. Each category features an exclusive interview with fierce LGBTQ/POC Ballroom members--Lee Soulja, Benjamin Ninja, Twiggy Pucci Garçon, and more--whose lives, work, and activism drive home that very category.

At the height of public intrigue and awareness about Ballroom, thanks to TV shows like FX's Pose, Tucker's compelling narratives help us understand its relevance in pop culture, dance, public policy with regard to queer communities, and so much more. Welcome to the norm-defying realness of Ballroom.


Ricky Tucker is a North Carolina native, a storyteller, an educator, a lead creative, and an art critic. His work explores the imprints of art and memory on narrative, and the absurdity of most fleeting moments. He has written for the Paris Review, the Tenth Magazine, and Public Seminar, among others, and has performed for reading series including the Moth Grand SLAM, Sister Spit, Born: Free, and Spark London. In 2017, he was chosen as a Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Fellow for creative nonfiction. Connect with him at


Michael Roberson is a public health practitioner, advocate, activist, artist, curator, and leader within the LGBTQ community. He is the co-creator of the nation’s only Black Gay Research group and National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition, as well as an Adjunct Professor at The New School University/Lang College NYC, and Union Theological Seminary NYC. He is an international art and politics consultant and a member of the international sound art collective entitled “Ultra-red.” Michael scholar in residence for the Center for Race, Religion, and Economic Democracy, as well as recent TED Media Resident, where he performed a global TED talk about the underground Black/Latinx House/ball ballroom community, entitled “The enduring legacy of ballroom” ( For Black History Month 2021, Michael co-authored an article in Time Magazine titled "Why Voguing and the Ballroom Scene Matter Now More than Ever." ( ).  Michael also co-created a “Respect in The Workplace” curriculum and training for Vice Media, and trained all of Vice’s staff in their Brooklyn offices and Los Angeles offices.  Michael also served as a cultural consultant for the Pose FX television show. Additionally, he was a public health advisor and community engagement specialist for the NYC COVID-19 contract tracing initiative.  Lastly, Michael is both the new Senior Editor of the online international publication Arts Everywhere Ballroom Freedom School section ( as well as the Director of the Invoking the Pause ( Climate Challenge National Cohort for the San Francisco based Clean Energy Leadership Institute (

Reginald L. Douglas is a director, producer, and advocate dedicated to creating new work and supporting new voices. He was recently named the Artistic Director of Mosaic Theater in Washington DC, following two years of service as the Associate Artistic Director of Studio Theatre. 

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during virtual or in-person events. 

Event date: 
Saturday, May 27, 2023 - 1:00pm
Event address: 
MLK Library
901 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
And the Category Is.: Inside New York's Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community By Ricky Tucker Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807007327
Availability: Not In Store - Available to special order for pickup or ship. For even speediest shipping we suggest our page!
Published: Beacon Press - September 13th, 2022