One of my sons loves to dance. There is a specific scene in Moana that comes on and he will run around the house looking for me to dance with him to the drum beats. Dancing with my sons brings me and them such joy. I cannot imagine a household without music and dance.
My wife was not allowed to dance in her household growing up. It was among the religious beliefs her parents held that was preached at their church. Dancing leads to sex, and sex is bad. End result- no dancing. No music with a beat that would encourage dancing. Yes even “Under the Sea” in The Little Mermaid. When we started dating and we went to a gay bar and we danced it was not just the dancing it was the freedom to dance. Together. I’ll never forget the look on her face when I started dancing. It was a mixture between awe, excitement, fear, and hope.
Our dancing evolved over the years. We danced at gay weddings, at gay bars, and then once a year we went to this earthy crunchy herbal conference for women and we danced around the fire circle with a bunch of ladies to the drums. It sounds so witchy and old school weird, but it was wicked fun. I know that makes us sound earthy crunchy, and I’d like to say we are but we are not. I literally want to die after two nights in a tent during that weekend. All the food is provided, and there are showers and bathrooms and a lake. But literally, I want to die. I hate camping, I hate tents, I want a nice hotel room with attached bathroom and shower. But I suck it up once a year to go dance around the fire circle with amazing women including my wife. I may complain a little…okay a lot. We bring wine.
People in general take so much for granted. I can tell you because of our lesbian marriage status, our current administration, our past life history, and our journey forward we never take our life for granted. We bought a house in the midst of this presidential turmoil. We literally had the discussion of do we rent and see if we have to leave the country in exile, or do we buy knowing we could lose everything and still have to leave the country in exile? We bought. I like to take chances. I like to hope. I hope that the world we live in will not be as damaging to our future as we fear.
We do not feel comfortable dancing together at a straight wedding or a straight bar. Other lesbian couples might, but we just don’t. We don’t like the sideways glances or sometimes outright staring. We don’t want to offend anyone and we don’t want to deal with the drama if some one is offended.
Pleasantville is one of my all time favorite movies. There’s a lot of stuff in that movie. It’s a coming of age story for an entire town. It addresses racism and sexism in a beautiful way. It addresses sexual intimacy and love and passion and lust. There’s a part when the “black and white” people start to ban things including dancing and music. Then all the “colored” people (they are literally in color versus black & white) are at the diner hiding and someone turns on the jukebox. Someone yells at him and says they aren’t allowed to do that anymore, and then Toby Keith stands up and says Yes, we are. He lets it play and everyone slowly starts tapping their feet to the rhythm. It’s a powerful moment when the audience is shown they are not going to go quietly into the night without any dialogue, just the gentle tapping of people’s toes in rhythm to the music.
We bought our own house here because we decided we are not going quietly into the night (a.k.a. Canada). This is my country too. We were born here and we want to live here. We own a piece of this country now and like it or not we are lesbians.
We dance too. Every time that scene is Moana comes on and my son’s smiling face comes for me I pick him up and I twirl us both around and around. He laughs and giggles, and clings to me and I think how could my wife’s parents choose to miss out on this? How could they ban dancing? Because banning dancing would ban laughter and these moments where we feel so connected with our children. Every time we dance together I cherish it. Because there will come a day when the thought of dancing with his mother brings a shudder to him instead of a smile. Then I guess it will be my wife and I dancing together again. Dancing will always be our moment of connection to each other and to freedom. Whether we are on a dance floor at a bar, at a wedding, or under the New Hampshire moon around a bonfire, dancing unites us in a way nothing else can.