Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why the Dance Floor is My Church

I love the dance floor.

Each time at a big gay dance party, I think how lucky I am to have landed part of such a fun-loving, creative, sensitive, beautiful subculture. Look at them all. To think, I could have been born regular!
The dance floor is unifying - its only purpose is JOY. There's never any violence, though violence and hate is often heaped upon us. It's funny that the bullying meme, so prevalent now, was once considered a rite of youthful passage. On the dance floor, there is nothing but love. Off the dance floor, it's hard to imagine this same crowd too often uses its many gifts to tear each other down. Anti-social behavior that can be explained, not excused, by acute persecution complex. As let's face it, the bullying never ended.

It wasn't enough for your elected leaders, priests, even your own family condemn and disparage you. Today your principal says you're going to hell;Utah teachers now can't even talk about gay, even if you ask them; gay (and perceived) youth are hunted down by militias and murdered with cement bricks in Iraq; Ban-Ki Moon addresses the UN to suggest you have a right to be free from violence, and several African and Muslim nation leaders walk out; 80's sitcom star Kirk Cameron is now somehow relevant because he believes that you're detrimental and destructive to civilization. And all this just last week!

On the dance floor, you can forget all of this.

You can forget people righteously slander you, hide behind "beliefs" and when called out as bigots, play the victim and are defended by society as "having the courage to stand by their convictions". Would such convictions be courageous if directed at ANY other group -- redheads, handicaps, fat people, women... hailed as the destructive end of humanity? It would be indefensible.

So when I mistreat others; when I'm mistreated by queers and when I see them mistreating one another, others and themselves, I try to remember these episodes for what they are: re-constituted self-loathing. It's something we've grown up with, been steeped in and continue to absorb.

The antidote, so it seems, is the refuge of approval and validation sought in a perfect physique, spotless home, sexual prowess, living in the closet, a line-free face, monetary success, a crack pipe - it's all the same. Like anyone else, we want affirmation but we want it more intensely because we learned we don't deserve it, that we're inherently unworthy and that, on some level, we deserved to contract AIDS.

This isn't to suggest there aren't a ton of people who are, or who work hard at being and becoming well-adjusted joyful individuals. Or that there aren't messages of love - clearly there are. But if we could go back to the core, at its incipience, before it became damaged, perhaps we could re-train to absorb and believe another message.

I wish everyone could know (I'd tell them telepathically, as it sounds patronizing to vocalize) that they are all, every last one, innocent.

And on the dance floor, we are. 

4 comments:

AJ said...

Jesse,
On this my birthday, I thought I would respond. Read your very pensive blog. Very poignant! Wonder how many of us are truly free from not having committed some infraction of what you have written?

Very good Jesse. Very good indeed!

Jesse Archer said...

Very Happy Birthday to YOU!

Anonymous said...

Exuberant!

That's the word I use to describe your blog of March 13th.

Exuberant!

Enjoyed this blog very much!

Exuberant!

YES!

Tony said...

Right! Love and acceptance are essential, no matter where they are found.