08/18/2011 12:26 pm ET | Updated Oct 18, 2011

Grit & Glitter: To Be Young, Black, Gay And Glamorous In Chicago's Ball Scene

It's 1 AM on Saturday, May 21. A tall black man stands alone in the shadows of a storefront at the corner of Madison and Cicero on the west side, wearing jeans that hang off his waist and a tight white T-shirt that clings to his muscular build. The headlights of passing cars illuminate his face: bright red lips, fake eyelashes, rouged cheeks. Cell phone in hand, he talks a caller through an alley to the back of a community center and the unmarked, bouncer-guarded entrance to Family Affair.

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