I can only imagine the sacrifices you’ve made to be here, but it’s never a bad decision to choose yourself.
We do not have the luxury of shame.
There’s a difference between inspiration and distraction.
After being awarded a scholarship, Damon splits his time between performing at balls and taking classes, but when he’s late to a rehearsal, St. Rogers talks with Blanca about his priorities. Damon has God-given talent, but commitment is his key to success. Some artists assume that we can commit ourselves to a number of different projects, and some of us can pull that off. But many of us have to master one task instead of half-assing them all. As Octavia Butler once wrote, “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice.” Perfecting your craft takes focus and dedication.
You can waste opportunities if you’re not 100 percent ready to take advantage of them.
When Damon lands a role as a background dancer in an Al B. Sure! music video, and is then invited on tour, Blanca attempts to slow his roll. Though she believes that touring will derail him from his professional dancing career, she lets him decide his own path. You never know when opportunities will arise, so it’s important to always be prepared. An opportunity that might seem big now might derail a bigger opportunity in the future. Don’t just build your résumé; build a legacy.
Life comes for all of us, and it comes hardest for the ones who think they’re above it all.
Though Blanca has left the House of Abundance to form her own house, she still visits Elektra as she recovers from her gender-confirmation procedure. Elektra is Pose’s antagonist, an emotionally abusive mother who treats her children like subjects instead of kin, and Blanca has been on the receiving end of her cruelty. She’s also the only one who visits Elektra in the hospital and uses the opportunity to give Elektra tough love. Superiority can’t comfort and support you.
None of us win when one of us gets beat down.
Elektra has to return to sex work and sleeping on park benches after sugar daddy kicks her out. When Blanca finds out about her situation, Elektra is surprised that she doesn’t revel in seeing her down. Blanca, a champion of the ballroom community and all the struggling, marginalized folks that make it the special place it is, reminds her that a loss for one person is a loss for all.
You have given Damon something that will allow him to soar in this world: self-worth. As long as he knows his life has value, he will be unstoppable.
In the Season 1 finale, St. Rogers tells Blanca that Damon’s scholarship is being renewed. St. Rogers also explains that many of her students’ have rich parents who use all their power to grant them access, but they still don’t succeed because they don’t know their worth. If your value is solely attached to what you can attain, then it won’t take much to bring you down.