The Burlesque Hall of Fame is shocked and saddened by the murder of eight souls by a white gunman in Atlanta on March 17, 2021. Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Hyun Jung Grant, Paul Andre Michels, Sun Cha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Yong Ae Yue, and Xiaojie Tan were killed by a shooter driven by sexist, racist, and anti-sex worker ideologies. They were business owners, workers, family members, and friends, and our heart goes out to all whose lives were touched by them.
Asian performers have been instrumental players in the burlesque world, from legendary performers of the classic era like Tura Satana, Barbara Yung, Tai Ping, and Coby Yee to contemporary performers such as 2019 Miss Exotic World Frankie Fictitious. We celebrate their contribution to this art form and to our society.
Burlesque history is filled with the policing of women’s bodies, both on-stage and off, and harassment by both local authorities and dangerous men has shaped burlesque’s history from the beginning. It is also a history, like our nation’s history, plagued by racism, sexism, and other prejudice. Performers have been targeted for their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and profession; they have also seen their ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientation mocked and appropriated on stage by their fellow performers.
We strongly condemn the racism, sexism, and anti-sex worker prejudice that led to this attack, and to thousands of other attacks against Asian people and sex workers across the nation every year. The Burlesque Hall of Fame is committed to telling the stories of Asian performers and to challenging the ideologies that fuel acts of prejudice across our society. We stand in solidarity with all those affected by this ongoing violence.