House of Ultra Omni
35 Years of Ballroom History
28-15 47 Street
Astoria, NY 11103
May 19th, 2014
Subject: Paris is Burning screening
Dear Mr. Carl Ciliano,
The House of Ultra Omni, who just celebrated its 35th anniversary, is writing to you to share our deepest disappointment with you and the Ali Forney Center. When house member Wolf Omni reached out to you and your staff prior to the screening to inform you about the exploitative film Paris is Burning and the director Jennie Livingston, you showed no concerns and no community sensitivity. It was quite the opposite, you questioned our concerns, you used information and ballroom members who have been selling out the community to justify the screening and you re-insured that those individuals are more important in your decision making than ballroom educators, historians and activists. Your decision to move ahead anyway with the screening of this film, which is showcasing the Ballroom community as thieves, prostitutes and drug users, was a continuation of a) keeping our wounds open and b) you continue to use your status to divide our community and c) it shows the true colors of how you and your organization does business with the LGBT community.
It is very unfortunate that the Ballroom community continues to be exploited by organizations like yours, Ali Forney Center, so you can benefit from us for personal financial gain and with no proceeds going back to the ballroom community.
It is not acceptable that you or your organization, after we offered to work with you, not only did you disrespect the educators, historians and activists; you also ignored our request to meet with you. Now we understand clearly why.
Scientific evidence shows that organizations like yours continue to take advantage of our disenfranchised community and you leave us no choice than to expose you and your organization to the community at large and to share with the public the type of organization you really have become and how you do business with a community that is in need of healing and no longer needs to be exploited and taken advantage of for personal financial gain from organizations like yours.
Kevin Ultra Omni
Ballroom educator, historian and activist
Serving the Ballroom community for 35 years
Carl Ciliano works 35 hours a week and makes $150,000 a year. How many homeless youth could he support
if he only made half the money
and still live a good life?
If you went to the screening, please leave your comments
Allison Tray Tough conversations after the film tonight. Ouch.
Over one third of the "Crooks" on our poster have been fired, one is in jail.
Until they are all "FIRED", I job continues.