Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I love dancing!

Dancing is fantastic. Dancing was fun yesterday, it's totally a great time today, and tomorrow dancing will still be the best thing since cake. I'm talking about fancypants ballet, or well choreographed anything, I am talking about probably-a-bit-silly-looking, flail-my-arms-about-like-the-uncoordinated-white-hippy-I-am kind of dancing, because that is really the only kind I can manage. I love dancing!

I have met a lot of trans people who weren't very comfortable with dancing. At least it seems like a lot, I don't claim to have done a scientific survey. When I started living as trans, I avoided it, too, even though I loved to dance back when I was living as cis. It makes sense. People tell us that boys dance this way and girls dance this other way, and that only certain types of bodies look good doing it (we usually don't have those bodies). Of course we are going to feel awkward about moving our bodies. Well, I don't mean to trivialize that discomfort, but, to put it simply, SCREW THAT!

Dancing isn't just fantastic, it's empowering. Although hormones and body modification (and money) can help shape your body more the way you want it, to a large degree we get stuck with some body that grew up all by itself, and trans folks know better than anyone that the world around you just might not approve. But you can move however you want! You can pull out any dance move you want. You can emphatically express any level of femininity, masculinity, thirdinity, and/or you-inity you want (I totes made some of those words up). Dancing is a super fun way to take control of your body and to express your gender how you want to express it.

I never feel more at home in my body than when I'm dancing. Dancing has been a wonderful tonic for those times when I have felt the most dysphoric in my body. At times I wanted to have sex with a partner but just felt too ashamed of my own body to enjoy them touching me, so I took them out to a dance night to shake off that ick feeling and then back home for some horizontal dancing. ;) I'm down to dance any time, anywhere, at a club, in your room, at a house party, in front of my computer with headphones on, in public, whatever. So the next time you see me, let's strap up our dancing boots (dancing booties? teehee) and kick it! Music is preferred, but what the hell, I'll dance without it.

Now to be serious again for a minute in order to address two very important issues. Being able to dance is a privilege I have as an able bodied person. Also I have the privilege of having access to trans-positive and queer spaces where I can be physically safe dancing in public. As wonderful as dancing is, it simply isn't something everyone has access to. Second, the best way to have a great time dancing is to keep it consensual! Consent is sexy and genderfabulous, sexual assault and date rape are not. Just because you are shaking your body doesn't give anyone the right to touch, objectify, or abuse you. If someone comes up to you on the dance floor and grabs you without your direct permission, that is wrong, that is not ok, and you were not 'asking for it.' On the other side of the coin: you don't have the right to touch or objectify anyone else! If you see someone dancing and you want to touch them or dance up against them, get their consent first, and consent is the presence of a yes, not the absence of a no.

Ready to dance but still not sure how? No problem, I got you covered! Check this fabulous anti-oppressive dance video from Boston Sass Attack! They'll show you how.

Keep it pink y'all,

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