chyle, picture it. summer of 1993 in philadelphia. my good friend at the time, oscar, came to my house and said “i was just at a gay club and it was amazing. they have teen night (18 & older) on wednesdays. i am taking you.” i was 16 and although my curfew was still 7pm, my mother allowed me to go.
the following wednesday, about seven queer kids from north philly including my best friend robert and i are packed inside oscar’s tiny ass car and making our way downtown to woody’s – the gay club that oscar was raved about. after paying the $3 cover and begging the doorman to let me in although i was not yet 18, we walked and it was like arriving at oz.
i cannot completely describe the feeling but it felt like discovering a new world that felt like home. and this feeling was anchored by the c&c music factory club mix of taylor dayne’s ” can’t get enough of your love” blasting from the speakers. i looked towards the dance floor and saw a sea of queer and trans kids dancing with abandon. and i wanted in!
just then, robert and i rushed to the dance floor and began dancing a kind of happy dance that our bodies had long been waiting to do. we danced that entire night. the seven of us created a uptopia that we took back with us to the neighborhood.
woody’s teen night became our weekly gathering place for the next year. my curfew stayed 7pm because except on wednesday nights. my mother may have never walked a pride parade or attended a P-FLAG meeting but she was all for me fagging out at the club – one time a week.
as the 1990s came to an end, so did woody’s teen night and the friendships with the magnificent seven. the utopia i experienced with them on that dance floor, was recreated in the safer spaces cultivated by friends in my adulthood. yes, music continues to play a critical role in how i connect to propel and spaces. taylor dayne’s “can’t get enough of your love” is on that long BUT very exclusive and special list.