[365 DAYS OF REHAB POP] DAY 74-75: DRONES CLUB-INTERNATIONAL & HOUSE OF LABEIJA DOC
/ DAY 74 – 75 /
PHOTOCREDIT: PARIS IS BURNING
16, I worked at a movie store until 3am every school night. I worked 48 hours every 7 days. It was never safe at home, so I punched a timeclock to keep someone from punching me. I was stubborn against sleep, exhaustion, heart murmurs and deliriously sitting in a 7:30am Calculus class to keep me bruise free, even if my mind was purpled to hell. Pro-tip about me is that you can’t crush me. You can fuck up my femur, but I’ll find a way to play footsie with freedom. Always have, always will. I didn’t have a lot of heroes growing up, except me; because I was queer, outsidery, and always alone as fuck. I worked that movie store because most hours it was me, myself and the sound of conversations on the TV screen. I kept me alive but I was always real down on me, not sure I could even be human. I’d go weeks without real sleep, I honestly didn’t even know if I was here, anyone could hear me. But I watched movies and in the dim light of 1am-3am, I’d pretend movie characters spoke to me. I took their words in my mouth and learned how to speak to people. I copied body movements, and learned to finally raise my head up and look people in the eye. But I didn’t have any heroes in those movies until I saw Paris Is Burning and caught the House of Labeija in full-fucking glory.
ONWARDS DANCING SOLDIER TO THE LIGHT
WE ARE ONLY HUMAN TO THE BONE
Crystal Labeija roared my inner fire from pilot light to wildfire. Suddenly, 1am seemed like the brightest time of day as I voiced all the bad in me by vogueing. I walked up and down rows of movies and vogued like an act of resistance. I played Paris is Burning until the tape burnt out, gaining sass, and a smirk and the ability to stand my ground seeing her on repeat. I’d never seen someone inundate every inch around them with an intolerance for injustice. I felt like I was watching a goddess swing brass ovaries and titanium testicles at any obstacle in her path, and I was enthralled. One night I hooked up with a member of the House of Labeija–accidentally—and I convinced them to take me to watch the ball scene. I’ll always remember looking in, watching a hundred dancing soliders like me and it was like I knew what it meant to be alive.
THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE GOOD LIFE
WE ARE INTERNATIONAL
26, I started vogueing international. Done it in 16 major Asian cities. It keeps me alive, even when I wanted to give up and let my body float back on currents to the Atlantic. The spirit of the House of Labeija lives in this Drones Club song. It lives in me as I board my next plane onwards towards somewhere I can rehab my heart in again, punching a timeclock so I stop punching and never forgiving me my own mistakes. Past 6 years have been lousy with them, but maybe I just need to hear the words of Crystal and set them to the rhythm of Drones Club and I’ll have a mantra for inudating every inch of with an intolerance for injustice again.