For gay and transgender black and Hispanic people often marginalised by their families or communities, the late-night pageants known as House Balls can be a liberating experience.
The underground parties feature men and women dressing up and dancing in competitions judged on attitude, style and glamour.
Gerard H Gaskin, a photographer who grew up in Trinidad, has spent two decades documenting a scene which combines extravagance and an exploration of gender identity.
He talked to the BBC about his book Legendary: Inside The House Ballroom Scene - and we went along to an event in New York.
Saturday, 15 February 2014
BBC NEWS - the world of underground gay house balls
Nice, brief, clip on NY's ball scene via BBC News, here, to promote Gerard H Haskin's book "Legendary", covering balls on the US East Coast over the last 20 or so years. I hope to interview Gerard myself at some point soon...