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My First Sapphic Saturday at Southern Nights Orlando

Newly single, sexually revolutionized, and on the more extreme side of daring, I spent a Saturday night in a completely new experience that reminded me of a culture I missed so deeply.

A couple of days before, I was invited in passing to a night out at the club with a few of my friends. I spent some time on the edge of decision, but on the Saturday of on a whim I got into my friend’s car with a freshened up face and some new lipstick. I was unsure of the entire situation, but slowly and surely accepting uncertainty.

I have been very comfortable with my sexuality since I was a teenager, but had never really immersed myself around other women who were interested in other women. I observed, rather than participated, and was satisfied with that. I broke my observation habit when I stepped in line to enter Southern Nights on Saturday, during their lesbian night. Even in a large group of other women interested in women, I was nervous, excited, and ready to let loose.

We went through the formalities and stepped inside. At first, the atmosphere pointed visually to an LGBT atmosphere I already know and loved. Flyers for drag queens, photosets of guys with six packs. I then took in the amount of people, probably mostly lesbians, and the atmosphere shone in a different light.

We started our night with a superbly talented drag show. Sequins and dancing galore, we laughed and threw dollar bills from left to right. After the drag show, we went to the dance floor and spent the whole night away there. Throughout everything, I started to feel more comfortable and loose. I flirted more, I danced with my hips a little more. I started to feel I belonged a bit more. And while the fun experiences throughout the night out are worth reliving, they were not as important as the feelings I went through during my Saturday night.

Even in a few short hours, my comfortability from transiting from observation to participation went fairly smoothly. While I could contribute this to my supportive friends, my liquid courage, or a fairly revealing burlesque show, my mind always goes to a deeper, more personal connection to what it could be that changed my perception.

What mostly changed for me is connected to socialization. In other social atmospheres, it can be challenging to flirt with other girls, dance with them in other clubs, make moves. I have tried on other nights out and was instantly rejected by an “I’m not gay” and a quick shuffle to the opposite side of the club. Heteronormativity can be a real pain sometimes.  

However, in most gay clubs, heteronormativity doesn’t exist. These social constructs can be pushed aside, and people can just feel for one another. No one is really shocked when two girls dance together, kiss together, be together. Even underneath bright lights, techno music, and sticky floors, that feeling is eternally comforting and allows individuals to be comfortable in their own skin.

So while the night out on the surface was typical, there was something about the aura of being around a large group of women, who were interested in women, that allowed a different opportunity. While every club looks the same through all their windows, the feeling of equality and unity that resonates through the crowd can’t really be found anywhere else, at least for me. When I would look around and see all the connections that were happening, something just felt right. Surrounded by a close group, I went out of my comfort zone and left with better expectations. I hope I can still find the time to chase that feeling. I want to keep participating.

 

All images from Pexels

Natalia is a proud latina, and a Senior at the University of Central Florida. Majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a double minor in Mass Communication and Mass Collective and Culture Behavior, she hopes to eternally study the World for all its' features. An old soul and a child at heart, some of her favorite things include flowers, her 3DS, cheap paperbacks, 80's sitcoms, drag queens, and nifty scarves. Always practicing mindfulness and balance, Natalia dreams of a picturesque beach, with no clouds in the sky and a perfected Spotify playlist. Keep on Keepin' on. 
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