Life and Death on the Pulse Dance Floor: Transglocal Politics and the Erasure of the Latinx in the History of Queer Dance Culture

Tim Lawrence

Abstract


Although the dominant response of politicians, journalists and campaign groups to Omar Mateen’s 12 June 2016 massacre of forty-nine people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando revolved around the repetition of already established arguments about terrorism, this article will outline how the massacre amounted to a specific attack on the Latinx community. It will also argue that, although distinctive, the discursive erasure of the specifically queer Latinx finds a partial echo in the way that Latin culture has been marginalised in writing on dance culture. An outline map of the somewhat opaque Latinx contribution will be offered as a small tribute to those who have lived for and now died on the Latinx dance floor. The account of the dancers who gathered at Pulse, the music they danced to, and the unstable, marginalised and dynamic networks of musicians, dancers and party spaces that preceded them will be considered within J. Blake Scott and Rebecca Dingo’s (2012) evocation of the “transglocal”. If transglocal encounters “can generate new meanings and subject positions” (Blake Scott and Dingo: 7), so the dancers at Pulse can be seen to have moved resourcefully, dynamically and creatively between the local and the transnational as they sought out new modes of expression and community in a darkening global terrain.


Keywords


Pulse, Orlando; Latinidad / Latin; LGBTQ / queer; DJ culture; terrorism

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