BAM Book Jam

Wednesday, June 8 at 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET

At BAM, we believe stories move the world. We also believe that the most impactful stories are diverse ones. BAM Book Jam is an interactive book club series featuring conversations with diverse and innovative authors.

The BAM Book Jam will feature "And the Category Is…Inside New York’s Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community," a book written by Ricky Tucker. A love letter to the legendary Black and Latinx LGBTQ underground subculture, uncovering its abundant legacy and influence in popular culture. Join us for an engaging 1-hour discussion with the author, Ricky Tucker.


Ricky Tucker

Meet Ricky Tucker

Ricky Tucker is a writer, educator, art critic, and North Carolina native based in Brooklyn. 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.

He was chosen as a 2017 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Fellow for creative nonfiction, a 2021 Writers House Pittsburgh Resident, and a 2022 Virginia Center for The Creative Arts resident. Tucker received his Writer/Teacher MA at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a B.A. in fiction at The New School where he later served as Senior Writer for marketing, and now teaches Reading for Writers at Eugene Lang, its college of liberal arts. His debut book, And the Category Is…Inside New York’s Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community (Beacon Press) is available online and in stores.


And the Category Is…

Inside New York’s Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community

"Beyond a celebration of the ballroom scene, so much of this book is rooted in paying respects to the ancestors who came before us. It’s also a closer look into the subculture created in New York City by Black and Latinx queer communities that can provide freedom and liberation to those who often navigate marginalization, oppression, and violence." - Dr. Jon Paul, "Ricky Tucker's Essential Read on Ballroom Culture," Bitch Magazine, January 31, 2022

An Electric Literature “Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Book of 2022” Selection

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.

For more information about "And the Category Is…", visit Penguin Random House, and purchase your copy of the book today.