Dancing Should Not Be an Act of Courage

Hi everyone. I really tried to find something lighthearted and funny to say today, because we need it, but I couldn’t. The Pulse night club shooting is disgusting and horrifying, and another shooting in a long, exhausting list of shootings. I’m bone tired of it. If shooters don’t care about killing kids in schools and people in theaters, why should we be surprised that someone wants to kill gay dancers of color at a club?  And yet most of us are surprised, so that’s something. The minute we become desensitized to these shootings is the moment we are lost. But we are becoming numb and overwhelmed. It feels hopeless sometimes. Have any gun laws changed since Sandy Hook? Has the conversation between responsible gun owners and people who are horrified by guns advanced? It doesn’t feel like it. It just feels like many dispersed organizations are working on different aspects of this madness. Maybe we are moving the needle, but it doesn’t feel like it’s nearly enough. Well, actually it isn’t enough because this shit keeps happening.

Most of my best times dancing have been in gay clubs. The thing is, I like to actually dance, and when I went to straight dance clubs in my 20s, I could dance the way I wanted to until about 1 am. Then the straight boys who had been hugging the walls and were previously too sober to cut loose and dance were very drunk and looking to score before the 2 am deadline. So there was a lot of slobbering and grabbing in that last hour, and most of my dance moves were deployed to avoid them. If they had actually danced with me–really danced with me earlier –they might have had a shot. There is nothing sexier than a man who can dance and be comfortable in his own skin. The straight men of previous generations who could only legitimately be close to a woman by dancing with her got that. Or they were at least forced to learn how to dance if they wanted to meet women. I don’t mourn all the sexism back then, but I do miss a straight man who can dance and enjoy himself .

So where’s a dancing girl to go? The gay clubs of course. There I learned so much about gay culture and history. Back in the day the clubs were often unmarked and you could only get in with a password. They were and are hallowed and safe places for people who are often reviled for just being themselves. I came along after the password era, but some of the clubs I went to were still unmarked.

Then and now, once I enter a gay club, I am among men and women who can dance. Who are enjoying themselves. Who are dancing like there is no tomorrow. My kind of people. I spend many Sunday nights at a gay club, Club Cafe at what they call a tea dance, one that starts in the afternoon, rather than at 10 pm. Here’s the history from the Back2Stonewall website:

“By the late 60s, gay men had established the Fire Island Cherry Grove and also the more subdued and “closeted” Pines (off of Long Island, in New York) as a summer resort of sorts. It was illegal at that time for bars to ‘knowingly sell alcohol to homosexuals’ and besides many of the venues there were not licensed as ‘night clubs’ or to sell alcohol. To avoid attracting attention, afternoon tea dances were promoted. Holding them in the afternoon also allowed those who needed to catch the last ferry back to the mainland to attend.”

And now some gun-owning person stunted with hate has made going dancing a courageous act. And going to school, and going to a movie theater. It’s bullshit, ridiculous, and tragic. I’m sorry, responsible gun owners. You have to step up. You have to help figure out the solution to this. I’d ban every effing gun in the country, but the NRA and many of you find that unacceptable. So what is the answer? You’re the one with the gun, with the passion. Tell me. How do we keep guns in the hands of people like you and out of the hands of stunted people who hate? Tell me. I’m going to go dancing looking over my shoulder, looking for the man who is not dancing, is not comfortable in his skin. So you tell me. What is the answer? Tell me.


  1. You go girl,I am 100% with you maman Deborah.this has to stop.  www.artwanted.com/Jean-YvonHuot Jean-Yvon

    From: Sandy Deden To: jjyh1@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, June 13, 2016 9:29 AM Subject: [New post] Dancing Should Not Be an Act of Courage #yiv4664217854 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4664217854 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4664217854 a.yiv4664217854primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4664217854 a.yiv4664217854primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4664217854 a.yiv4664217854primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4664217854 a.yiv4664217854primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4664217854 WordPress.com | sdeden posted: “Hi everyone. I really tried to find something lighthearted and funny to say today, because we need it, but I couldn’t. The Pulse night club shooting is disgusting and horrifying, and another shooting in a long, exhausting list of shootings. I’m bone tired” | |

  2. Yes San, You asked the right question: “You passionate gun owners, tell me, how do we keep guns out of the hands of stunted people who hate, so I do not need to look over my shoulder when I go dancing. making doing so an act of courage?” The greatest possibility towards a possible response lies in the “JD political diatribe” field. Laws are made in the US Congress. Right now Senator Chris Murphy has been filibustering on the US Senate floor to force a recalcitrant Republican Senate to at least take up a debate to make a law requiring background checks for future gun owners and make it a crime for people who are on the FBI terror list to own guns. This is making a drastic response, making a stand for what is right, as pretty establishment “bipartisan” rhetoric has been getting nowhere. Thanks to a corporate Supreme Court and a corrupt political campaign financing system, the majority of the people’s Representatives in Washington have become corporate errand boys and girls, so their allegiance is to the NRA and not to the people they represent. The same thing is taking place with regard to the growing inequality and poverty in this country. The question is are there enough people who do care? In the last election only 34 percent of the electorate bothered to go to the polls and those that did go had to wait in line for 7 hours to vote in some places. Most people seem to vote according to TV political sound bites when voting time comes around.

    Love, pops

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