Founder of The Runway Movement and Mother of the Haus of Alexander, Ella Ganza, has no doubt where the future lies. “The future of the Brisbane queer community is inclusion. Take space, deviate from conforming and do not take shelter in stereotype.”
After a ground-breaking performance at this year’s 58th annual Queens Ball, the Haus of Alexander recently unleashed Brisbane’s first-ever vogue spectacular, the Alexander Ball at Family nightclub.
Ella described the Alexander Ball as “a special moment to acknowledge our queer community and one big celebration.”
Voguing is recently prominent due to the amazing hit television show POSE. It came out of the New York Ballroom scene of the 1980s and 90s. However, it traces its roots back to the drag ballroom competitions in 1920s Harlem.
Voguing allowed doubly marginalised Queer People of Colour to celebrate their identity in the face of discrimination and persecution.
Ella began voguing in 2010 and later participated in the Sydney ballroom scene as a judge when she lived there.
“Ballroom culture is all about family to me. It’s about creating space so that we are free to create and to live our ultimate fantasies.”
When she returned home to live in Brisbane, she set about creating a ballroom scene here.
Then, as Harry K says, “This woman created a space for kids who were struggling in this world to find where they belonged and through her love of dance created a family for them with both The Runway Movement and The Haus Of Alexander.”
Ella Ganza: “No shelter in stereotype!”
Ella says, “It’s our time to take space, to deviate from conforming and not to take shelter in being the stereotype. To emancipate the mind.”
Her focus on inclusion has resulted in a movement that ignores the divides in our communities. It brings all the different elements together in a celebration of both difference and commonality.
Thus, as a proud transwoman, she welcomes both transgender people and drag queens to the movement, a sometimes controversial decision.
“Drag Queens and Trans woman of colour can enjoy each other’s company. We can have a kiki and co-exist in the same space. Who said you can’t be both? Well, that’s me honey. Loud & Proud. It’s the same for all of us. The future of our beautiful Brisbane queer community is all about inclusion!”
Ella admits to some tough moments along the journey. Having started The Runway Movement to foster inclusion in the LGBTIQ communities for marginalised and disadvantaged people was bound to present challenges.
However, she says with the support of dear friends like her sister in The Runway Movement, Jesse Tahuparae, her children and the rest of her family, she’s always been able to refuel, carry on and work towards everyone in her community being able to celebrate and take joy in who they are called to be.
The success of the recent Alexander Ball has inspired her to reach for new heights.
“I want to see all my LGBTIQ+ brothers and sisters living their best lives. And I want to see them celebrated for that, not merely tolerated or accepted, but celebrated for the joy only authenticity can bring.”
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