• dr. tortoise

Queer Party on U Street

Updated: Mar 2

It was somewhere in the middle of her set that it struck me. I was staring, enchanted, by the man who was up on stage with my friend; rapping fast, with a beard and makeup on. I didn’t even know what the fuck he was talking about… but that shit slapped. The fog and colorful lights made the room into a mystical land where peoples’ negative opinions vanished, and everyone can be whoever they want to be in this oasis that was the dance floor. It was a Friday on a summer night in an underground club on U Street. I realized how everything was becoming unisex, it was getting confusing. Far different from what I grew up on. My mother would always openly voice her disapproval with anything we saw from the community. Growing up Latino meant that you were probably Catholic. Bullying and ‘being cool’ was really a thing in grade school, no one was comfortable with being trans or gay yet. I feel like i'm just now being exposed to it because were ready to understand it. The bathrooms were gender neutral. It was like going in to someplace you’re not supposed to, going into any door I pleased, “where are the urinals” I wondered. Sigh… it didn’t it really matter. left or right it was something so simple but were so habitual I felt like I was doing something wrong, like driving on the wrong side of the road. I didn’t care what people did with themselves as long as they were growing and loving one other… right? People need to just live their fucking lives and who are we to judge. Gender is a lie and you know how we figured it out… we just thought about that shit, like fucking common sense. Be whatever you feel like. Here everyone danced, drank, pissed. It was a different kind of event, a night after the illegal dyke march from Mcpherson Square to Dupont circle where they yelling “go dykes go dykes”. Better than whatever the normal clubs had to offer, No woman uncomfortably next to me with some guy hitting on them. No one getting turned down, no negative vibes whatsoever. Hell, do we even need to understand that shit? just let everyone live their fucking lives. Well science says that that were all just humans. Well science used to say that “skull size” means blah blah blah. Science is institutionalized in a manipulated state; all we need is a little empathy. Anyways, I think I finally got it. I was dancing and the man in front of me, wearing a fishnet t shirt, put his hands on the stage and arched his booty back like a stripper and I thought “damn… he really knows how to move his body…”. And now just because we are men, or whatever, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t know how to move my fucking body; maybe not that exactly that. But at least move my hips from side to side, sway like in salsa or bachata. Regardless of who we are attracted to dancing is about having a good time and everyone should it do. Letting out stress and replacing it with smiles… and sweat. I was getting lost somewhere between the music, alcohol, and people around me. But the feelings still lingered heavily. The lines are getting so goddamn blurred for what gender is, but we’ll all get there eventually. Growing up it was drilled into me that a man is supposed to be with a woman. I didn’t have those white parents that always seemed to be the most understanding, and don’t beat their children into changing their children. People can be whatever the fuck they want. We can dress like a woman and have a beard like a man; or put eyeliner on like a woman and be muscular like a man. We can rap, mainly dominated by men, and have tits. They’re just stereotypes not everyone will live being trapped by those lines. Now this seems obvious, but do you REALLY get it…Do we all REALLY get it? We all have our own perspectives on what it all hopefully, everyone can see that. They’ll always be some progressive shift but this one just seems so straightforward were tripping over ourselves. What does it mean to say “like a woman” or “like a man” but you can still fuck whoever you want to right? My train of thought was masked by bumpy techno and the soft cushion of booze, and a lot to be forgotten in an existential drugged rage. The fluttering lights brought me in out of the present into the cracks of my mind when suddenly the floor opened into an active runway. One by one people cat walked back and forth, popping their limps, and dropping down to a split with the crowd offering waves of enthusiasm. I think for man to do this is quite “gay” and that takes a hit at their masculinity therefore you don’t see this positivity and fun in just any club but why? It didn’t matter who was in the limelight, they were rocking and having so much fun and I think that projected onto me and everyone else too shy to hop in there. It was just people having a good fucking time, why are people worrying about how we identify ourselves. It’s not really about gender or gender roles, but do we think they’re attractive, do we like who they are, do they get us wet… or hard or whatever; and then we can just figure it out from there.

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