If you haven’t already heard the good news, or you’re simply misinformed, then allow me to enlighten you: I like to get down. And by that I mean: I absolutely and unequivocally dance. I dance in the most hard-core and sincerest way that one could ever express it—John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever, bellbottoms, the whole deal. Well, okay, not the bellbottoms. Ask any family member who’s ever watched me grow up: I’ve been cutting premium rug since the late 80’s, and needless to say, I don’t play around. In the famous words of rap superstar Ma$e, “If they didn’t know me ’91, bet they know me now”. But shaking your “groove thing” as a toddler in hot-pants, and doing so as a grown adult male, are two completely different things: one makes for a cute picture, while the other makes for the script of a reality TV show.
One friend of mine put it this way:
It’s not so much that you dance that forces people to ask questions it’s HOW you dance.
Okay, so lets get it all out there: I like to shake my hips, I get low, and I can pelvic thrust and booty shake with the best pack of raging dance floor whores you’ve ever seen. And the fact is, my moves bring all the girls to the yard (to use the colloquial ghetto term). But often times, what it also brings to the yard are speculations about my sexuality. Now, just be clear, this post isn’t about defending my personal sexuality (it’s never bothered me that my adept Puerto Rican rhythm has sometimes been mistaken as the result of many years of dance lessons with my partner, Fernando). This post is more about breaking stereotypes and giving a little more credit to heterosexual dudes that have the confidence to throw caution to the wind. Let’s face it, not every gay dude out there has his own interior decorating show, and, likewise, not every dude throwing his hips around on the dance floor is gay.
The truth is, I’m very comfortable with myself; I’m secure enough to wear sandals in 32 degree weather, never repair the dents in the hood of my car, and I don’t really care that I’m losing my hair. Confidence has never been a problem for me. This is mostly because my self-esteem is not derived from other people, but rather, it comes from the things I can do and the works I create.
But even that being said, it’s pretty normal to expect credit where credit’s due. I think the one thing stereotypes do wrong is they undermine the skills and talents of an individual by insisting that such attributes have no unique value, that somehow, their qualities derive from the group they belong to and not the person themselves. This, meaning, that a guy with great dance moves can’t possibly be completely straight, and, if a gay guy is a great dancer, that makes sense to us. Yet, sometimes the stereotype works in my favor, though—like when dozens of boyfriends confront me at clubs because their girlfriends love to dance with me. Actually, most guys will assume I’m gay simply because they can’t believe that any straight guy would “embarrass” himself in the way that I pelvic thrust and pop ’n lock. However, other guys are keener; they can see the lust in my eyes when the girls get close to me (it’s actually quite an impressive read). When it happens that an angry boyfriend does approach me, I usually execute one of two strategies:
A. I have him talk to my friend—a friend with big muscles, or
B. I immediately turn into the gayest homosexual this planet has ever seen.
It sounds like a lame thing to do, but straight guys with attitudes (mostly in the northeastern area) want nothing to do with gay dudes. The situation is most commonly diffused in seconds.
The other thing about associating gay men with dancing is how it doesn’t help me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used the dance card to amass a following of attractive women at clubs, only to have them ask me where my boyfriend is tonight. Even when I explain to them that I’m most certainly interested in having sex with them later, I still get the raised eyebrows and confused expressions (It doesn’t stop the sex from happening, of course, but boy is it awkward). So, the ignorance happens on both fronts.
Anyway, the overall purpose of this article is to encourage a more open minded approach to how men express themselves. If you want to know the real truth about why I get so expressive, it’s about expanding social boundaries and approaching sexual competition with an expansion of male expression. Think about it. Since the 1920’s, the expanding public options for the expression of female sexuality has broken all kinds of boundaries. We went from Victorian denial to pornographic exploitation—which is totally fine with me. But, the options of male sexual expression has stayed relatively the same, and bland: physical strength, big paycheck, and fixing things? I may be slightly exaggerating, however, it can’t be denied that the female expression of sexuality has a wider range of mediums and is much more explicit than that of men.
And so, I dance.