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I want to die on the dance floor

No, I am not suicidal. I hope to live many more decades. Yes, at my age I think in terms of decades. To be specific my goal is to live to 120 years old. I have special reasons for that number, you can ask me if you want to know. But that is just a hope, none of us live forever.

Some day I am going to leave this realm we call reality. Of course, most of us can’t choose that moment. And I don’t know that I would want to if I could. But if I could choose the activity at the moment it happens it would be dancing.

For me, as is for many others, dance is so much more than moving your body to music. It is an experience that involves all of me, to the depths of my soul, overwhelming my identity. If dancing isn’t so for you I don’t know that I can explain.

Maybe the simplest thing to say is that I am never as alive as I am when I am dancing and everything is perfect; the music, the people, the place, the spirit of it all. In those moments I am connected with the universe and the infinite. In those moments I am invincible, my soul would simply be added to the infinite. In these moments I am already in heaven, I am emersed in it. In these moments I cry so intensely because this vessel I call my body can’t absorb all of the joy.

I hope I have thousands more such experiences before the final one. In the decades to come, I hope I can share this joy with many others. I hope I will continue to grow and learn as the years go by. That the person I am down the road is even kinder and more loving than the me of now.

But when the road comes to an end, I want it to be a dance floor full of beautiful people and music. Maybe at 120, I am in a wheelchair and my body can barely move, but my heart is soaring, as I join in the dance with you all. And when I soar into heaven don’t feel sad for me, dance with me as I will be dancing in heaven.

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A Place to Dance

As most of you know my favorite place to dance, The Sun Trapp, is temporarily closed due to a legal issue. For many people that would just mean a lack of nightlife options. But dancing isn’t just something I do for fun, dancing in the right environment is so beyond fun, it feeds my soul.

So for me, there is a real need to find another place that works. But I wasn’t sure what all that required. At first, I thought that just meant a dance club with a good dance floor and a good DJ/music. I found that at another club, but that didn’t help nearly as much as I thought it would. I enjoyed the dancing, but it was missing something. It was missing the crowd of happy people. Oh, there were others there, but at no point were there so many I would call it a crowd.

Finally, I was told about a new queer bar, Milk+, that had just opened. So I checked it out. It is fantastic. I went both Friday and Saturday night. I was on the dance floor with very few breaks from the time the DJ started at 8pm till he finished at 2am. This place fed my soul.

It had all of the magic ingredients. They have a large dance floor and a great stage that I enjoyed dancing on. They have huge speakers to pound out the music. They have food all night, and with healthy options too. They have great DJs to keep the tunes going. But I think most of all they have that wonderful queer crowd I so long to be part of. Dozens and dozens of happy gay people dancing the night away. It was beautiful.

So I have a place to dance now, I don’t have words to express how important that is to me. Since the Trapp closed I have felt like I am starving to death in a desert. Now I have an oasis where I can survive. Yet I still so very much want to see the Sun again.

Milk+ is fantastic. I am so happy they are there but they are not the same as The Sun Trap. The Trapp was my second home. It is like the difference between going out for dinner at a fancy restaurant and having dinner at your best friend’s house. Both are going to give you a great meal and you know in both cases you are going to have a wonderful time. But there is that closeness and comfort that you only get at a house with your friends.

The Trapp was that for me and hundreds of other queer people. I miss The Sun Trapp so much, and can’t wait for it to shine again.

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Living without the Sun

As many of you know for the past couple months I have been regularly dancing at The Sun Trapp. In so many ways The Sun Trapp has become a second home to me.

Unfortunately for the past few weeks the Trapp has been closed. They are going through some legal issues and doing their best to reopen as soon as possible. Unfortunately for now that has left a large hole in my life that I am having trouble filling. You see The Sun Trapp is so much more than a bar. It is an amazing place that I am just now realizing how very rare and beautiful it is.

I tried a different bar. It was also a queer bar so it had that going for it. I did see a few of my friends from the Trapp there. Looking back on it that was more healing than the dancing at this bar. Unfortunately, this bar doesn’t really focus on dancing. So it is a safe queer space but that is only part of what I am missing.

Alternate bar number two had a great dance floor. It was queer accepting but not really a queer space, it lacked the color that I so love at The Sun Trapp. While the dance floor itself was good and the music was good it never got packed out, shoulder to shoulder, like the Trapp does. So it is a place to dance, but it lacked the color and intensity of dancing at The Sun Trapp.

There are other bars and places to checkout and I am sure I will. But it is becoming rather clear to me that there is no other single place in Utah that can do all that The Sun Trapp does. They are a safe queer space where I can be totally at ease. They have a great dance floor. They create a wonderful party atmospher on the weekends with a huge crowd that feed’s my extrover heart’s need for such.

Then there are things that I can’t find other places. Even the other queer bars don’t shine like the Sun with intense queer energy. Other places are not full of fun happy friendly people the way they are at The Sun Trapp. Most of all other places don’t have my friends, from both sides of the bar, that I miss so very much. I can find the piecies but I can’t find the whole.

So there is this big hole in my life right now. I am doing my best to fill it with other things. I am slowly learning how to live without the Sun. But I don’t like living in the dark. It is cold and scary. I know people have managed to live in the dark before. If I knew the Sun was coming back tomorrow or next week, or the week after, I would simply find a spot in this cold world to wait it out. But I don’t know how many weeks it might be, so I need to learn to live without the Sun for now.

I am slowly learning to do that, to live in the dark. I am finding the things that are missing in my life right now. But it is like have the flour, sugar and other ingrediants for a cake. Eating them individually is not at all the same as having that wonderful double fudge chocolate cake.

I want the Sun back, I want to go home. For now, I am finding my way around in the dark, but every day I am hoping and praying that the Sun will shine again.

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Finding My Limit

My whole life I thought I was an extrovert. I did my best to avoid big social events and just stay at home. But for a variety of reasons I started feeling that might be wrong. After dipping my social toes in the water for a bit I finally took the plunge and went out dancing. That was a revelation beyond any spiritual experience I have ever had. (read more about that here)

I found I could go out dancing all night from the time the DJ started at 9 pm till the bar closed at 1:30 am. And after that I didn’t just make it home OK, but was over flowing with energy the next day. One weekend after dancing all night I got up early the next morning to join the Rainbow Hikers to go on a two hour hike. After that we got together for a wonderful brunch. Then I went shopping all afternoon. By sun down I was starting to feel a bit tired, but got home just fine

For me this ability is amazing. In the past I would leave a crowded event as soon as I could, now those same kind of events give me energy I didn’t know I had. I have gone from avoiding crowds to seeking them out, and the bigger the better. But how far does this go?

I knew I wanted to dance all night for New Year’s Eve so I had planned on going to my favorite bar, The Sun Trapp (please see update below). I got there early, so that I wouldn’t have an issue with parking. I danced to the jukebox until the DJ got there. At first, as is often the case, I was the only one on the dance floor. But as always the dance floor filled up as the night progressed.

By 10:30 it was pretty much wall to wall people and I was in ecstasy. I so love those times, it is like the whole room is one mass of joy as we dance together. As I usually do, I moved around a bit dancing with different people. I love the way everyone has a different style. We screamed in the new year and kept dancing. Finally the bar had to tell us it is time to leave. I got home at about 3 am.

The next morning I still had the dancing bug. But I had already gone out the previous night and I usually run out of energy around 6 pm the next day. But my soul was aching for more. Finally I decided, ‘fuck it, I’m going back’. I started preparing; planned out my outfit and what I needed to get done before I left.

That night was nearly as amazing as the previous one. The dance floor was a bit cold due to the extreme temperatures outside, so I started dancing with my sweater on. But as the night moved on and the floor got filled I didn’t need my sweater any more. I danced with some of my same friends I saw the previous night and found some new ones.

By about 1 am I was starting to get a bit tired and considered heading home ‘early’. But before I got around to leaving I found a new group of happy lesbians to dance with and I just couldn’t leave. So I danced, again, until they asked us to leave.

But wait there’ more
The next day my wife and I had planned on going to a lesbian meetup. So I got up at 8 am the next morning, after getting to bed at 3:30 am, to get ready. Picked out my outfit, did my makeup etc. We headed out to our meeting and met some wonderful new friends. We chatted with them for over three hours. Then had a wonderful lunch at a brazilian steakhouse and did a bit of fun shopping at Trolley Square.

By the time we got home I was exhausted. I had finally reached my limit. I was so full of joy and life but my body had had enough. So I took a nap. And now I am writing all of this to savor these past three wonderful days and share it with you.

Update on The Sun Trapp
Since I wrote this article The Sun Trapp has gone through some drastic changes. I would definitely not recommend it any longer, it is not what it used to be. The following is my perspective of what happened.

Full disclosure: Several of the old staff are friends of mine and I am quoted in the below article.

The SLC Tribune article below explains the details of what happened with the Trapp.  Since that article was published the defendants have gained control of the bar and brought in all new management and staff.  

Please bear in mind that the author of the article repeatedly tried to contact the defendants for their side of the story, but they refused to comment.  While that doesn’t make them guilty one must ask why they felt they couldn’t defend their position if they were innocent of all charges.

 If we were talking about a Walmart or Mc Donalds I would say who cares who is managing it.  But this is a very small local business, the people were the heart and soul of the business.  To me, and many more the building, location, and name were nothing, it was the people that brought it to life.  The Trapp was our home because the people on the other side of the bar made it that way.

Personally, I would never patronize a business that treats people the way the defendants did.  Furthermore, I have friends that have been harmed by some of the new staff (sorry I can’t give details), so I am certainly not going there. Obviously, we each have to decide what is important to us.

https://www.sltrib.com/artsliving/2022/02/24/sun-trapp-safe-haven/

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Redeeming a Name

I think for most people they don’t think about names much. But when you are trans there are two very important names; the one you were given at birth and your real name.

For me my real name, Jasmine-Arabella, is extremely special and important to me. I spent a long time considering different names and trying them on. I wanted a name that reflected me and I got that in Jasmine-Arabella.

Like most trans people I don’t care much for my birth name, most trans people refer to it as their ‘dead name’. That is because that name represent pain and bondage. When I heard that name it hurt it reminded me of the person I was forced to be the person I never was.

Because of that I would do my best to avoid that name. I got my name legally changed on all of my official documents unto that goal. When I would get, as I still do from time to time, mail in that name it would hurt. I didn’t want to see the name and I didn’t want to hear the name. It didn’t matter who it was in reference to. Even when someone was referring to someone else it hurt to hear it. But all of that has changed.

A few weeks ago I met a person who has become a friend. And as I have gotten to know him better I have found I so admire him. He is such a beautiful human being. He is always going out of his way to help and protect others. He has given more to me than I will every be able to give back. And he has the same name as I was given at birth.

Just by being the beautiful person he is he has redeemed that name for me. Now when I hear that name I no longer think of the bondage and pain I was forced to endure. I think of my friend and my heart is fill with joy.

Life is amazing, you never know who you are touching. Always strive to be your most authentic self. You may bless someone or help them out just by being YOU.