06/30/2014 04:19 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

What The 'Paris Is Burning' Legends Might Think About 'Transphobia'

Is there any queer-themed documentary more beloved, more influential, more frequently quoted than 1990′s "Paris Is Burning"? Director Jennie Livingston’s celebrated chronicle of New York’s underground gender-bending ball culture struck a chord with LGBT audiences like few others. Many of the film’s participants, including the unforgettable Pepper Labeija, Octavia St. Laurent and Willi Ninja met early demises, but their impact lives on in every queen who claims to be serving realness. Author Lucas Hildebrand has added immeasurably to their legacy with his fantastic recently-published book Paris Is Burning: A Queer Film Classic. Hildebrand chatted with Queerty about why we’re still obsessed with the documentary almost a quarter century later.

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