On the night of June 9th, I was delighted to see a performance of the awesome queer band PWR BTTM (https://pwrbttm.bandcamp.com/). Actually, I couldn’t wait to blog about it that weekend, but something else distracted me. The show was so amazing, powerful, colorful, genuine, and unconventional that tears of overwhelming happiness poured down my face during most of the performance. I didn’t take any photographs or videos of the event at the Bug Jar (http://bugjar.com/) because I wanted it to be more personal. The memory will always be dancing in the back of my head, and I wish people would put their phones down at performances for that reason. Yes, I’ve been guilty of doing it, but I have quit.
Anyway, during those moments in the concert, I was so happy and proud to be gay. It was thrilling to be surrounded by the Rochester LBGTQ community and allies around me. The vibe in the room would make anyone emotional. Ben, the [shirtless] guitarist, had his face filled with bright bits of teal glitter and makeup. Liv, the drummer, wore a delightful floral blouse with dangling earrings. With jestful turns, they both sang their songs. Fortunately, I was able to have a little chat with them after the show and they both did Sharpie doodles on my Ugly Cherries cassette tape. I thought about how much this music will help current generations of queer people and many more to come. I thought about how much I could have used it in high school, and shoved it in the face of the homophobic assholes I had to deal with on a daily basis.
With all of that joy aside, I wasn’t able to post about the concert because that following Sunday, June 12th, the Orlando Pulse massacre happened. For the whole week, like the rest of the LGBTQ community around America, I was in pain physically and mentally. I couldn’t stop crying anytime I thought to write about the show. Here I was just 3 days before, celebrating my sexuality with great artists and people from Rochester, very proud to be living in 2016 safe and sound as a gay man. That comfortable mindset came crumbling down that Sunday. I still can’t write about this without a few tears sitting here in the Equal Grounds coffee shop (http://www.equalgrounds.com/) I’m glad there is finally a moment for me to talk about how this concert was tied into the Pulse massacre. It is important to remember that as LGBTQ citizens, we are still not safe from the typical American heteronormative mindset, especially transgender members of our community who are murdered on a weekly basis. (http://www.advocate.com/transgender/2016/8/11/these-are-trans-people-killed-2016) We have to have everyone’s back in our community. Pulse will always be a historical event to remind us that we must not get terribly comfortable with our rights and that we have to keep being creative, beautiful souls, and fighting for our civil rights. In the meantime, I’ll continue to give my support for my community, protest American gun laws, and live my queer life!