Orlando Strong

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Dear Readers,

Something terrible happened in my town. 49 people died while 50 others were injured. I found this out one morning when my friend called. She wanted to know that I was safe. I was safe but not from the effect of the tragedy.

If you’ve read my blog then you know that some of the posts were about Pulse. Holiday happened around this time of the year. It’s hard to imagine that my story took place in the same place that this one did.

I think that’s how a lot of people in this community are affected by this event. We all went to Pulse at some time or another. We all danced there. We all made friends there. We know the layout of the club and that’s what haunts us at night. We imagine the sounds and things that happened that night and wonder if that could have been us. For some of us it might have been, if our mother’s hadn’t asked us to babysit or if we felt too tired to go out after working a twenty-hour shift.

Thinking about this affects us each day. And each day it’s hard to believe that Orlando now has this strange history behind it. I came to Orlando to go to college. My friend came to Orlando because he fell in love. Someone else came to Orlando because they wanted to escape the boredom of living in a small town. We all found ourselves here and now we are finding ourselves again.

Grief is something that happens differently to everyone. Some people are attending the vigils. My friend is handing out food to people at the hospital. I am trying to do everything but there’s only so much you can do in a day. I want to feel this pain so that I can grieve with my community. The hurt must be felt so that we can move on eventually. But right now is not the time to move on. We must remember, cry, and live with each other. Here is Orlando and this is what Orlando Strong means to me.

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“Holiday” Part 2

My first instinct was to go after Daytona whom was being dragged further away from me by a random Fag-Hag. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time something like this had happened to me in a gay club. I am very grateful for the Straight Women that have accompanied me in my ventures into the gay world, however, they all know when to back off. This would have been one of those times.

Night club dancing party

I decided to stay put. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this situation is that if someone wants to be dragged away then that is exactly what happens. So long Daytona! I started to dance and enjoy the music. The vibrant pulse filled my body to the point where I put my hands up over my head. This felt like Gay Days.

“I GOTA DRINK!” a voice said. I turned around and saw the friend I came with. Indeed, he had a drink in hand but that wasn’t the only thing attached to him. A short man Indian man in a Polo shirt was who I guess supplied him.

We all began dancing and having more drinks. The song “Pompeii”played overhead while my friend and I talked about New York City. There isn’t any place like it in the world but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy the chaos outside of it.

“I’m leaving with him!” My friend said, pointing to the small Indian man. I asked him if that was a good idea since he was also drunk. He assured me they knew each other prior to this occasion.

“Take care and call me, text me, whatever, when you get to where you’re going.” I said. My friend smiled before hugging me. I might not have left that night with a boy in hand. Hell, I didn’t even leave with a phone number but this was definitely a night worth having.

 

“Holiday” Part 1

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Gay days in Orlando has always been one of my favorite event. Once a year Disney celebrates the GLBTQ community by advertising their parks gay. There are tons of parades, parties, and of course in my case there are men. Lots of them. Every facet of gay can find a place where they belong and for someone like me that’s important. I’m curious as to what kind of gay cliche I fit into.

Wednesday night I decided to go to Pulse with a friend. It’s the same club where I met The Cop. I walked into the club feeling the pulse of the music. It was like a thousand shots of adrenaline pumped into my veins. I felt sexy that when I leaned over the counter to the bartender I gave him a wink. He smiled and passed me a Whiskey Sour.

“I can’t dance without one.” My friend said, pointing to my cup. So he went off in search of someone to buy him one while I made my way to the Drag Show. albino white

 

“Welcome Ladies and Gentleman to Gay Days Orlando! Please welcome our first star tonight Adrien Gemini!!” The announcer said. The Queen pulled herself onto the stage and began her performance of “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga. The Monster Ball Version! I’m not sure if everyone knew this fact but I did and it sent chills down my spine. Adrien Gemini is one of my favorite Drag Queens because her performances are about the artistry of music in pop culture, as well as the love for her community.

I watched in awe until there was a tap on my shoulder.

“Do you wanna get in front.” A guy said to me. I looked down and saw a 5’4 ft Latino standing in front of me. He was cute although not my usual type. I usually am interested in broader/taller men but it was Gay Days and why not open myself up to new possibilities.

“You don’t like the show?” I said.

“No, I just can’t see.” He said. I continued the conversation by asking if he was in Orlando for Gay Days. He shook his head and explained that him and his friend coincidentally decided to come to Pulse that night from Daytona. I looked over his shoulder and saw his Queen-eque friend. To me these kinds of people are the easiest to stereotype. He had his chin held high with lips pursed, standing tall like a show-dog.

“That’s cool.” I said and introduced myself. He did the same, but I’ll just call him Daytona. We continued talking casually until I whispered in his ear,”You’re very sexy.”

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He shook his head and smiled. He turned around to continue watching the Drag Show while I inched closer, putting my hand up on the wall over his head. I felt in control of the situation so when he turned back around we kissed. Soft and nice. It was nice for two reasons. One because I was kissing a cute guy and the other because I felt like I had made myself feel sexy by making the first move.

We continued watching the Drag Show with my arms wrapped comfortably around his waist. When the music began and the Queens disappeared we danced. Our hips swayed close to one another until I spun him so we could kiss again. It was just as good as the first time except lasted longer. I went a step further and kissed his ear. Looking back, this action was completely out of my element but when he didn’t resist I did it again.

Eventually we spun around the dance floor and faced the stage together. Next to it was a large speaker where a blonde girl was sitting on top. She waved to Daytona and pushed herself off. I stepped back one just to give him his privacy. Maybe they knew one another. She pulled him close to dance until suddenly pulling him off the dance floor and into the crowd. What. The. Hell!!!

(To Be Continued…)