This article came up at the exact right moment. I came home last night from an evening dancing to Radiohead and Boddika and Erykah and techno at Sovereign, a monthly club night at Primary. Earlier that evening, I immersed myself in the pleasures of the dance floor with a group of friends. At some point, I was cornered away from them, forced to dance with a man I did not know and did not want to know. I eventually got out of the situation with the help of another friend, but the situation had the potential to put a bad taste in my mouth. There is a freedom to the dance floor, but that freedom is tenuous. Earlier this year, I went to CULT, a local club night at Berlin with two male friends to hear LOL BOYS in one of their last sets together. At one point, they both disappeared and I stood alone near the side bar. A man slid up and rather than even ask my name, he grabbed my ass, hard. I grabbed his wrist and pushed him away, yelling, “Don’t fucking touch me!” He told me to “calm down” and walked away. It’s annoying. You’d think I’d be used to this by now. I’ve had a real ID for as long as I had a fake one. The nightlife scene is not new for me. These sort of interactions are not new for me. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve better connected with myself. I’ve begun to take back what is rightfully mine: my body. And so, although this is not a new situation, it is still a troubling one, because as long as I must fight to be comfortable, I will acknowledge these interactions as wrong, as inappropriate, as not OK.
5 months ago