I am a living fireball of queer energy, and as a result, I am a challenge to those who haven’t yet embraced their own queer identities, queer voices, queer individuality, and uniqueness.
Being a walking, living, breathing embodiment of political activism isn’t my intention, but it’s what I am cast as in the view of strangers who observe me. For those who are still afraid of stepping out of their own comfort zones, I can be quite challenging as I stir up their repressed desires and prod at the subconscious triggers that they think are tucked away safely, away from being able to spring up to bother them at a moment’s notice.
Fire has always intrigued people. We can’t help but stare at a campfire as we marvel at the small pockets of energy that it releases, the dried logs emitting stored sunlight that has been converted to organic matter through the conduit of life. Fire serves us in so many ways, as it keeps us warm, cooks our food, and casts light upon what we cannot otherwise see, as it drives out the darkness that so often frightens us when we are wrapped in the unknown, the mystery, the uncertainties of life.
The flipside to the coin of fire’s practical uses is its equal capacity to cause damage. As much as people have harnessed the use of fire throughout the millennia—to cast iron and shape tools, for example—our awareness that it is dangerous and can harm us is always on high alert. We know the crucible in which we operate fire’s uses serve as a barrier of safety in which we are granted the temporary ability to handle it.
My life aura being fire, I shine bright as I radiate into the world, a beacon that shimmers and wiggles with a drumbeat that strikes a delicate balance between performativity and authenticity. I open my flower petals to the world and offer my unique dance, and as some runaway, others are intrigued. The intrigued stick around and some are even bold enough to get close.
They are drawn by the brightness I generate as they come close, as each selects their respective distance away from me at which they are comfortable in continuing their gaze upon my twirls and drumbeats, my life cadences.
I have asked many in the audience whether they want to dance with me, to share the stage with me, to bask with me in a collective intimacy in which we exchange heat. But I have yet to find a partner who isn’t afraid to dance with me, who doesn’t try to contain me in a crucible that takes away the freedom for me to fan my flames.
I can see the trepidation in my audience’s eyes. They are afraid my flames will harm them, will burn away their defenses and rationalizations to reveal the truth that they know they must face, but aren’t ready yet.
They clam up and back away from me, and at those instances, I am reminded that I am a living fireball of queer energy. My flames are too hot, my heat too intense, my queerness too dialed up for anyone to feel comfortable long enough to finish a dance with me, let alone engage in one.
So they keep their distance, and just watch and clap as I continue my flaming twirls to their delight.
On occasion, a few bold audience members will engage me and try to approach the stage, but then once on stage, they put up immediate boundaries that serve to contain my flames. Upon doing so, my oxygen levels become depleted, and I begin to wither, unable to provide the light, the shimmer, the radiance that drew them to me in the first place. More often than not, they leave. Other times, I have had to tear down the walls used to confine me and find a new place to start my fire again. Hearts break, tears are shed, but my fire must burn on, my flames must continue to dance.
I am a living fireball of queer energy. I understand that.
But it takes a lot of fuel and presence of mind to keep the dance going, to keep the fire radiating to the crowd without any reciprocation. Unless someone mirrors my heat or joins me in my dance, I cannot sustain this by myself forever. I have started to believe that I will forever be flaunting my flames by myself, on stage in a solo act, hot but isolated, vibrant but alone.
I am a living fireball of queer energy.
I can’t wait for someone to join me as I fan my flames.