In 1968, Crystal LaBeija made history by walking off the stage in protest of her race. This was the moment she realized race played a factor in the standard of beauty. Crystal was a pageant title holder. Crystal was a beauty queen. But, all that the judges saw was that she was black. In this moment, Crystal decided to take a stance that would kickstart the Ballroom Houses and Chosen Family.
This iconic moment was captured in the 1968 documentary “ The Queen” and was instrumental in establishing the standard of community, and culture, that continues to support the Black LGBTQIA+ youth to this day. Fifty-five years later, a physical representation still doesn’t exist. Now is the time to change that. In 2023, Crystal’s legacy will finally be honored.
- The House of LaBeija is seeking partners for an inaugural Legacy Ball and a ceremony to honor Crystal LaBeija, the mother of Ballroom.
- A bust of Crystal LaBeija is anticipated* to be exhibited at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and The National Museum of African American History, and Culture.
Apply to be a member of the first house of ballroom.