Oral History of Icon Monique West
Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries
Icon Monique West talks about how Baltimore’s ballroom scene was a safe haven and a place for her to come into her identity as a trans woman. She describes how, in her eyes, ballroom has come to be dominated by gay men and how she has worked to make it more inclusive of trans people. She talks about balls as spaces for sexual health and HIV education and about the importance of ballroom history, which is remembered and celebrated by ball commentators and performers. This oral history was recorded as part of the Peabody Ballroom Experience, a public humanities collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and the performance-based culture known as ballroom.