Oral History of Legendary Father James Icon

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Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries
Legendary Father James Icon talks about growing up and coming out in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s. He describes the gay community and ballroom scene that was centered in Greenwich Village and describes the first balls he attended, the process he went through to join the House of Revlon, and his experiences walking the realness category. He discusses the conflict that led him to leave the House of Revlon and found the House of Icon. He reflects on his experiences moving to Baltimore and the connections between his ballroom career and his professional career in HIV/AIDS prevention and education. 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.