To The FemmeMobile! Away!

{June 15, 2011}   Sundance Saloon!

If you live in San Fran (or the surrounding area, as I do) and you enjoy dancing (which I do) and your boifriend happens to get you hooked on two stepping (which Q did) and you’re queer, than The Place To Go is Sundance Saloon, which offers gay two stepping, line dancing, and lessons every Thursday and Sunday.

I’m not a total extrovert like Q is, and I can’t always handle the crowd, but I do enjoy it a few times a month! One of my favorite things, though, is to people-watch.

Now, this isn’t much of a surprise to people who know me. I LOVE people watching. I’ve been known to wander downtown and sit on a bench just to watch people. I make up stories for them and histories and imagine what’s going on. I laugh at the kids and little dogs and cringe when a pedestrian walks into traffic without looking. I love people watching! There’s such an amazing variety of people! I love them.

Sundance tickles me pink. Occasionally Q will head off to dance with a friend, and if I have a chance to have a break (I don’t always; I know enough people there now that often someone asks me to dance if they see I’m free) I like to tuck myself between the wall and whatever is sticking out (there’s like, one tiny table, a square thing people sit on, and a giant wall for the fan), and just watch.

It’s amazing, and I love it. Not just because I’m people-watching, but because I look out at this sea of people, and I see all the variety I would normally see, and I know — these are all queer people.

My favorite is watching the older gentlemen, (It’s mostly gay men) the gentlemen of color, and the one person who always wears a sparkly hijab (I believe that’s what it usually is — sometimes it’s a western-style dress or a toga). Those are my favorite people. In part because they aren’t the people you see in the media. Before I started coming to Sundance, somehow my perception of gay men was… well, Hollywood.

EXACTLY LIKE THAT. ———————————————->

If you had asked me, of course I would have said that queers come in all shapes and sizes. I know queers in all shapes and sizes! But if I’d pictured a group in my head, they would have all looked like this.

That’s part of why I like seeing the people at Sundance. They look like normal people. They look like people I could get to know and have fun with and generally be friends with. They are attainable, and they’re familiar enough that I feel like I can be part of that.

There’s something else, too, though. The elderly gents, they’ve lived through much harder times than I have — and they’re still out, proud, dancing and enjoying life. The men of color, they’ve lived in cultures and subcultures that are far more difficult than mine, and they’re still out, proud, dancing and enjoying life. The person in zir hijab, I’m sure ze deals with much more shit than I do, and even in ze’s own queer community — and he’s still out, proud, dancing and enjoying life.

These people give me hope. They make me feel like, even if this country regress or comes to a stand still for a while, even if I deal with occasional shit or want to kick in someone’s kneecaps on a butch or trans friend’s behalf, even if I am sometimes made to feel like a second class citizen… I don’t have to let that defeat me. I don’t have to let that disappointment be my life. I don’t have to hide who and what I am, just to appease others. And I don’t have to be ashamed or afraid.

It’s those people, the minority groups, that really amaze me. I love watching those people at Sundance. I love seeing the elderly man dance with the person in the hajib, and they laugh and enjoy each other and have fun, and then move on to the next dance with someone else. I like knowing that even though they’ve maybe lived a hard life, they haven’t let it beat them down.

It reminds me that, whatever happens, I can still make the choice to stand up, be proud, enjoy my life and the people in it, and that I don’t have to live in fear and hiding.

See? This is why I love people watching. ๐Ÿ™‚



I have to agree, people are fascinating. Where they are going, what they are doing, who they are interacting with… I HAVE to always have the ‘spy seat’ wherever I go so that I can maximise all people watching opportunities! ๐Ÿ™‚

JB says:

*laughs* Me, too!


westwood says:

People watching is a most rewarding activity, especially when paired with reflection, which it seems like you’ve got down pat!

JB says:

*LAUGHS!* I definitely have reflection down pat… it’s shutting my brain down I need to work on! ;-D


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