Pro wrestling meets ballroom culture at Billy Dixon’s Paris Is Bumping

There will be a ball this October, and the category will be fierce, unabashed in-ring realness. The forthcoming event Paris Is Bumping, aptly named after the documentary that brought ballroom culture to a wide audience, is the latest in a line of LGBTQ-led pro wrestling events aiming to bring new audiences and give the industry a evolutionary path.

The event will blend the worlds of ballroom and wrestling, two worlds steeped in camp, pageantry and extreme expression. “Leiomy Maldonado and Ricochet and AJ Styles have a lot more in common than one may think,” Paris Is Bumping creator Billy Dixon said on the Outsports podcast LGBT In The Ring. It couldn’t come at a better time as LGBTQ pro wrestling and ballroom culture are simultaneously experiencing heightened mainstream profiles.

Paris Is Bumping is the Dixon’s latest project after serving as one half of the production team behind the March LGBTQ wrestling Pride event Butch vs. Gore. Dixon has been a driving force for LGBTQ and BIPOC visibility within pro wrestling for a number of years, infusing his own matches and rivalries with real-life issues like Black queer and trans erasure. Creating and promoting events like Paris Is Bumping is the next logical step in pushing the industry in new, intriguing directions.

“This is a whole different ball game from Butch vs. Gore. Butch vs. Gore was a professional wrestling event that featured queer performers largely. Paris Is Bumping is a queer event that happens to feature professional wrestling,” Dixon said. “We have to evolve with wrestling… wrestling is a good way to incorporate new and exciting ideas.”

In Dixon’s mind, opening pro wrestling to more opportunities to engage with new and underserved audiences is also a logical step in the continued survival and expansion of the industry overall. “There are so many other people out here that you can attract with wrestling, but you have to make it a little bit easier for them to slide into,” Dixon said. “We need new eyes… the Attitude era (1997-2001) averaged about 10 million wrestling fans every week. Where did they go?”

From vogue queen femme and lip sync to leg locks and scissor kicks, Paris Is Bumping is set to deliver tens across the board when it debuts on IndependentWrestling.tv in October.

Listen to our full conversation with Billy Dixon on the LGBT In The Ring podcast. Download and listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all other podcast services.


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