Judith Bulter’s theory on gender performativity in conversation with TV series Pose.
The television series Pose (2018), created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals is an American TV series influenced by the American documentary film Paris is Burning (1990). Paris is Burning documented the ball culture in New York during the mid-to-late 1980s. One could argue that Pose is a dramatized and more fictional remake of Paris is Burning, as the narrative structure of Pose is fictional, but the ballroom scenes and the characters are very similar to those in Paris is Burning. Pose portrays the ball culture in New York City, following the lives of African American, Latino, gay and transgender peoples participating in that culture. It touches upon the glory within the ballroom scenes as well as the struggles and oppression the community faces during that time. These issues are similarly addressed by Judith Butler in her essay on gender insubordination, therefore this paper will discuss how Butler’s text – influenced by Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida – can be explored through the example of the television series Pose.