Please Stand and Dance as you are Willing and able to Receive the Benediction.
Go, for this is not a funeral.
We are not eulogizing the past.
We are not burying our history.
We will offer no Bleeding Heart wreaths
Or bring out sobbing Sister Johnson
To start off the crying.
Go, for this is not a death.
This is a rebirth.
This is a celebration.
We are not fighting to hold on.
We are fighting to break free.
Go, because we are in fact ready
To leave this ground that we have built
This ground that we
Raised cane and kids
And collards on.
Go and be comfortable
Dancing into the sun again,
Go, knowing that where we come from
Only half as far as where we’re going.
This is the course
That we remember tonight.
The high bar,
The dance way
Out of no way.
The core unbitten.
The charge unchanged.
The debt owed to our why existence,
Ledgered into the “how high should I kick god?” column.
Tonight, we are here to celebrate using our bodies
In service of our people
Because dance still means,
“We who still believe in the
Push and pull of the universe.”
House Music still means the three “R’s,”
“Renew, renovate and rebuild.”
Dance still means,
“A vision can be revealed to this world
Through our hips.”
House Music still means,
“What we are
An act of love.”
Dance still means,
“This is where we
Encounter the divine.”
And house music and dancing
Brings forward history,
It cannot help but spread.
This is what it came to do.
Is always relevant,
Is never the bad hand dealt,
Is never the snake eying you.
So, we have not lost anything.
Because we remember all of the moves.
Please Stand and Dance as You Are Willing and Able.
In the name of the Father, Mother, The Daughter, The Son, The Three Spirited, The Ones Who Are both and neither and the Holy Spirit.
In the name of art, and culture and making and viewing. In the name of sweat and love and Frankie Knuckles and all of the House Music Saints in that great club of witnesses.
Therefore, since we have so great a nightclub and smoke machine of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin, which so easily entangles us, the cult of respectability, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Let us dance, fixing our eyes on the DJs and our hips to the floor. Let us lose our minds so that we can see Jesus on the dance floor, the only one who can wear linen and not get any drinks spilled on it.
Jesus the author and perfecter of faith, the DJ and spinner of house, the twirler and the leaper. Jesus the vogue queen, who for the joy, who for the joy, who for the joy, set before Jesus’ self, endured the closing of Cables, Loretta’s, The Garage, The Generator and Esta Noche, despising the shame, and has sat down on the right corner speaker at the throne of God and is ready to go in on our behalf.
I pray that the word that went forth out of their mouths on that dance floor, from that bar stool, like it will for all of the children, in all of the tearooms and at all of tea dances, under that lopsided wig, and under that anointing, through that first testosterone and estrogen injection, through the first inkling that you like trans girls, that you really like men, that you like non-binary folks, that you are attracted to gender non-conforming folk, that you want to dance and be held, during that diagnosis, in that prayer, through that cry, on that hope, on that dope, while wearing “that” and lip synching “that”;
I pray that the word and the read and the air kiss will not return unto us void, but it is accomplishing that which God pleased, landing on the still sweat and tear-soaked cheeks and lips of its intended. And yes God, it is prospering in this thing, this body, me, us, the wrecked and the wracked, whereto they sent it and spent it. All air kisses. I pray one day children, all of your gifts, all of the unconventional and new and old things that you were called to do, all of your inherent wisdoms, from all of the directions from which the diasporas of your hips spin, will be welcomed and expected in places that you could never have imagined.
One day soon a new song, your gospel twirl, is coming that will gather all of the accounts of your encounter with the divinity. I pray it on top of and next to sound systems and speakers. One day all of your moves will be recorded. One day you will be amplified in love. One day you will be both ahead of your time and on time. One day you all God’s children lgbtqi and not, will know that whatever and whoever, we have outlived, that we will enter no room and no dance floor, without acknowledging the room they left for us.
Amen? Hallelujah? Right On? Shalom? Salaam? Namaste? Aché? Honey Boom (The sound of the sweet of you, traveling at sonic speed into the ancestors.)