So...I'm deep in my feelings today and the floodgates are open. I'm torn apart by the Orlando shooting because the LGBTQ community has always been near and dear to my heart: I'm Black, so I get what it's like to be persecuted for how you were born. No fucking apologies or explanations needed to justify your / my existence. I'm Black and that's just it. You're Gay and that's just it. Next! Love is love.
I grew up around everyday, commonplace homophobia just like I'm sure alot of you grew up around everyday, commonplace racism. Homophobia so normalized that you don't even realize it's homophobia. "Batty man fi dead"...repeated in songs about love, songs about violence, songs about...nothing to do with gay people. Just a popular cultural refrain...probably no different than hushed "fucking niggers" said in jest amongst friends or in disgust at the latest report of gun violence or in anger at the dude who cut you off in traffic...we're exposed to these things so casually that we think nothing of it, that the minute we ACTUALLY analyze just wtf we're hearing...those of us of good conscience are taken aback at just how casual the violence in the words are.
I was in a club...1997...a Beenie man performance to be exact, the opening act told everyone to put their hands up if they wanted to see batty man dead...the whole room was lifted...I thought "wtf?! I don't wanna see anyone dead bc of who they love or who they fuck"...not even if we "don't really mean it that way". If we "don't really mean it" then why the fuck are we saying it? Why are we encouraging others to say it? Someone in here WILL actually mean it...and I wanted no part of it.
I walked out of that venue and never walked back. Ever. Not while "batty man fi dead" was a thing that people they used to pervert what I saw as a celebration of life and love...dance.
I love what I do. I see clubs and dancing and music as a form of cathartic release for people. Come, let us dance, let us love, let us remember...let us forget. Our humanity...in a sweaty box, crowded in the dark, reaching out and searching for each other...how perfect a metaphor for human life and the struggles and challenges we face everyday...
To me, the dancefloor is a sacred space where when that moment hits we're all united...you know the moment...when that song plays, when everyone puts their hands up...joins together in singing whatever the fuck it's saying...it's not about the words to me, man. It's about the ENERGY of that moment, where we're all in unison, where we're all TOGETHER in perfect love and harmony...that ONE moment...
To me, it's like a metaphor of life...we live to experience, we burn so brightly, then we're gone...to ME that's what the dancefloor is for. To remind us of why we live, why we love and how quickly it can all go away.
For the men and women in PULSE that night...I wonder, where were they in that sacred space before it was desecrated by that profane man...so driven and perverted and twisted in what he saw as his holiness that he invaded us in ours?
I'm a nightlife guy. I always will be. To me, it can be so pure when there's no pretense. There's no "you", there's only us. How else can you feel when you're jammed close to perfect strangers, feeling the heat from their bodies, the crush of their humanity, while you push for that perfect moment of connection?
I can think of no more holy union. I really can't. Because when I look at the dancfloor, I don't see "incompatible cultures". I see people.
I see people that I relate to, people that I don't know...people that I probably don't want to know...but they are people. As human and as fragile as myself. When I look out onto the dancefloor, in that perfect moment...I see GOD. In all his / her perfect dimensions, as beautiful and diverse and frustrating as any of us. I see us all out there werking it out. Yasssss, I see LOVE on the dancefloor....and I LOVE the dancefloor.
And this asshole's hatred turned my sacred space into a fucking cemetery. And I hate him for it. I hate everyone that doesn't look and see that it's not his religion that "compelled" him to. It's not his culture that compelled him to...it was HIM.
We can blame everything we want, but HE CHOSE to act. HE CHOSE to take those people's lives. HE CHOSE to be judge, jury and executioner that day. We all have choices in life. ME? I chose to walk the fuck out of that party that celebrated death and I chose to walk into parties that celebrated LIFE. I chose to create parties that celebrated LIFE (why I do Les Printemps every year), I CHOSE to be a good and decent person and refuse any teaching from family, friend or "God", that taught me to be otherwise.
In short I CHOSE to LOVE. And I choose to love everyday.
It's not easy. It's hard. So damn hard. But everyday I am renewed in the name of love. Everyday I put on my music and I celebrate the life I have while I live it and I celebrate yours. I celebrate all of ours. People ask me all the time "how do you do it"? It's not HOW I do it...it's WHY I do it.
I do it out of love. No excuses for those that choose to hate. May history forget them and may they never find LOVE the way that we know it.
RIP to those that died dancing.