I have only been dancing for a few months. My first real experience on the dance floor was November 5, 2021. That night I was so nervous, I had no idea what I was doing. I felt so out of place.
I had been to a dance club a couple times in my youth. Both of those times I barely managed to get on the dance floor at all. I quickly got off before even one song was done. I felt I was making a fool out of myself. Both times were with friends that were trying to encourage me to dance. But I was a very awkward introvert and the whole experience just reinforced all of that for me.
But this past November was so different. It wasn’t my friends encouraging me to do something I wasn’t really up to, it was the whole universe telling me this is what I needed. I felt like every fiber of my being was saying I needed to do this. So scared and nervous I finally got up on the dance floor around 10:30 pm. At first, I was somewhat self-conscious about what others were seeing. But very quickly I became enraptured in it all, yes this was what my soul needed. I stopped being nervous, there was no room in me for that, I was so overwhelmed by the joy of it all.
Shortly after I initially got on the dance floor I realized this was so very much more than just moving my body to music. It was part of me. It was/is something my soul needs. Dancing feeds my soul like nothing else does. I now go dancing two or three times every week. I don’t hesitate to get on the dance floor, I leap at the opportunity.
But last year a few nights into my new found love a problem occurred to me. I was only dancing at queer bars and queer bars are sometimes targets. I recall that night getting a bit nervous, is this safe? Then I started pondering what could happen.
I recalled the story about Pulse, a hater could come in with a gun. I looked around for a bit where would I go? Where could I hide? Being very analytical and knowing a little bit about firearms I quickly came to the conclusion, no. There wasn’t much of anywhere to go. The place was commonly very crowded and I was most commonly in the most crowded space with only a few small exits.
If some one came in with a gun in that space there would be very little hope of surviving. Maybe if you were toward the back you might be able to get out before the bullets hit you. But as likely you would get tripped up in the panic and not make it. For a few moments, I was terrorised. Is this a safe place to be, I could die.
But in that thought was my answer. I could die, if such an event happened. But I will die some day, I hope that is a long way off. In that moment while I was scared about the possibility, but also enraptured in the joy of it all. Not just the dancing but being with my friends and the place and the pure beauty of it all. In that moment I had my answer. I would die in ecstasy with my friends, doing that which feeds my soul liken nothing else does.
In that moment I realized if such a thing was to happen it would only be the end of this phase of my existence. For at no other time am I more alive than when I am dancing and everything is right. And at no other time am I more certain of the fact that there is something more than this thing we call reality. And at no other time am I more certain that I will continue on in some form.
And in all of that, I found the strength to say NO to hate. I will not let others’ hate control me. I will not let those that might choose to do us harm control me. I will live the life I have been blessed with. I will live it to the fullest, with my friends and family and the beautiful queer community I so love. And if some day such an event happens I will continue on, and in the moment of the change, I will know that I didn’t let hate control me. That I stayed strong with the queer community. I stayed strong in love.