Dancing Queens… On the Slippery Slope – by Eric Marcus
The two boys, probably no more than ten or eleven, stood at the edge of the dance floor giggling to each other and pointing at the two guys in ties who were smiling like idiots, grooving to a medley of ‘70s disco. We had no choice. Once the DJ started playing that old bar mitzvah standard, “YMCA” by the Village People, our feet took over and we were propelled out of our seats.
The anti-gay rights movement has long railed about the dangers of letting us out of the closet. We would destroy the American family. We would undermine the moral fiber of our great nation. And perhaps worst of all, we would corrupt young minds, leading children down that slippery slope into temptation and sin. (You know, try it once and you’re hooked for life!)
Maybe that would explain why I’ve been reluctant in the past to dance with my partner at bar mitzvahs (you already know from a previous posting that we have no problem with dancing at weddings). But bar mitzvahs are another story because of the kids. How would the kids respond? How would the parents respond to the kids being “exposed” to such un-closeted behavior? And how would they feel about having to answer the inevitable questions, if not from the thirteen year olds, then from the younger children.
But this was the Upper West Side. The bar mitzvah boy’s mother had already made a splash by climbing on top one of the giant speakers and dancing her way through The Weather Girls. Judging from the cheers and laughter, I’m guessing that for a lot of us the go-go mother was a bar mitzvah first. How big a deal could we be in comparison to that!
The giggling ten-year-old boys soon turned to one of their dad’s and asked him about us (the very obvious pointing gave them away). We don’t know what the father said, but a few seconds later we spotted the two boys on the dance floor, with each other, and having a great time.
I don’t think this is the slippery slope that any of us imagined, but it’s one I really like. Barney and I take pride in knowing that we’ve helped set an example, one that smoothed the way for a couple of kids who just wanted to have fun.
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