Step into a lesser-known corner of Jackson Heights, one of NYC’s most vibrant communities, in part due to the strong Latino influence, and experience the energy of the LGBT community as seen in local nightclubs.
Joana accidentally discovered this neighborhood about 3 years ago and has been documenting it since. Latina culture and many Latin American countries are still not open and accepting of gays and lesbians, leading to many LGBT migrants to the US for a safer place. Club members and audiences have many issues – money, lovers, drugs, documents, employment etc. – but everybody is equal and free in the nightclub.
- See and shoot firsthand, the interactions within the LGBT community, free of boundaries and hardships as individuals transform themselves to something luminous, even sacred
- Shoot side-by-side by Joana Toro, whose work on this subject has been featured in The New York Times and Musee Magazine
- Insider’s perspective, commentary, and access to these nightclubs, thanks to Joana’s deep connections with the community over the years
Photographers of any level interested in Latino culture, LGBT rights, portraiture or documentary style photography
- There are nightly live performances by transgender Latinas and professional drag queens filled with human diversity, love, and compassion
- Diverse photo opportunities from the lights, color, dance floor, music, and nightlife brought to life by beautiful people
- Backstage access to dressing rooms is possible on any given night, but not always guaranteed. It depends on the night
74 St-Broadway station train 7 to Queens
Please bring a fast lens if you have one like an f/2.8 or f/1.4 Please do not use flash during the performances. You can take videos on your camera or phones if you want.
- This experience starts late at night, usually around 12 midnight. The clubs are usually open until 5am and you are welcome to stay as long as you want, but the experience itself runs for 3 hours, so Joana will leave you around 3am
- You are responsible for buying your own drinks, and in some cases there may be a cover charge to enter the club, usually $12 but no more than $20. Please drink responsibly and tip the performers during the shows
- Flash photography is strictly discouraged as it distracts the performers
- Please meet Joana outside the 74th Street-Broadway train station in Jackson Heights about 15 minutes prior to the start time to introduce yourself and also learn about some dos and donts from her
You can see more of Joana’s work on this subject here
Check out the Loculars blog post and additional images from this experience