Men Who Dance With Men
I can remember the first time I saw men dancing together. Watching TV, alone on a Thursday night, I am twelve years old and it is well past my bedtime.
We are reporting on a significant rise in the homosexual population residing in the San Francisco Bay area. These men identify themselves as having sexual relations with other men.
My heart began pounding, (will someone walk into the room, see this report and realize I am one of those homosexuals). The television flashes an image of a crowded dance floor. Shirtless, sweaty men dance pressing against each other. I recall the uneasiness that stirred deep inside of me. (Men are just not supposed to dance togther!) At that moment I made an instant decision; I may one day move to the west coast but I would never dance with another man.
Today I see that self-hatred was the basis for this reaction. It wasn't the dancing I rejected but my own homosexuality. In the years that followed I did find my way to one of the gay meccas, developed honest relationships, buried far too many friends and danced with men pretending it felt right until it truly did.
I realized shortly after beginning this project that my interest was not exclusively with male dance partners and their sexual orientation, but also with the love and acceptance that is expressed with every movement and touch. The dancers did not have to be gay to be included in this project. Sexual orientation became irrelevant, as I realized it was their openness that I was responding to. Never before have I had such a hope for unity.