Dancing Down the Slippery Slope

We’re thrilled to bring this guest
post by author Eric Marcus.

The two boys, probably no more than ten or eleven, stood at the
edge of the dance floor giggling to each other and pointing at the
two guys in ties who were smiling like idiots, grooving to a medley
of ‘70s disco. We had no choice. Once the DJ started playing that
old bar mitzvah standard, “YMCA” by the Village People, our
feet took over and we were propelled out of our seats.

The anti-gay rights movement has long railed about the dangers of
letting us out of the closet. We would destroy the American family.
We would undermine the moral fiber of our great nation. And perhaps
worst of all, we would corrupt young minds, leading children down
that slippery slope into temptation and sin. (You know, try it once
and you’re hooked for life!)

Maybe that would explain why I’ve been reluctant in the past to
dance with my partner at bar mitzvahs. We have no problem with
dancing at weddings, but bar mitzvahs are another story because of
the kids. How would the kids respond? How would the parents respond
to their children being “exposed” to such un-closeted behavior?
And how would they feel about having to answer the inevitable
questions, if not from the thirteen year olds, then from the
younger children.
But this was New York City’s ultra-liberal Upper West Side. And,
besides, the bar mitzvah boy’s mother had already made a splash
by climbing up on one of the giant speakers and dancing her way
through The Weather Girls. Judging from the cheers and good-natured
laughter, I’m guessing that for a lot of us the go-go mother was
a bar mitzvah first. How big a deal could we be in comparison to

The giggling ten-year-old boys soon turned to one of their dad’s
and asked him about us (their very obvious pointing gave them
away). We don’t know what the father said, but a few seconds
later we spotted the two boys on the dance floor, with each other,
and having a great time.

I don’t think this is the slippery slope that any of us imagined,
but it’s one I really like. Barney and I take pride in knowing
that we’ve helped set an example, one that smoothed the way for a
couple of kids who just wanted to have fun.

Eric Marcus is the author of the newly released question and answer
book for teens, What If Someone I Know Is Gay?  For more
information on this and other books by Eric, please visit: