Friday, January 7, 2011

Bring It: January 7, 2011: Set Your Intention for Harm-Reduction

My gays have always taught me that “more is more, less is a bore.” While that’s certainly true with glitter, there’s also something to be said for moderation, and the excess of the holigays gave me an opportunity to practice something I’ve been preaching on the dancefloor for ages: harm-reduction.

The idea of harm-reduction is basically personal responsibility, but it’s also about taking care of our own. It’s a fine intention to set for the new year, and all it really requires is general awareness and a little bit of compassion.

We all love to test our limits. We’ve all felt the high from getting away with it, and we’ve all experienced the danger and humiliation of not knowing when enough was enough.

No one wants to have her head in a trash can or leave the club on a stretcher. A little empathy can go a long ways when you see someone melt down into a hot mess under the discoball, and it’s really not hard to just treat that person as you hope to be treated when it’s your turn to go too far. And if your turn never comes? All the better. You can thank that hot mess for reminding you why your last drink, bump, pill or whatever needed to be your last for a minute.

This is a situation where community really makes a difference. It’s a perfect moment to let go of judgment and extend yourself beyond your boundaries. More times than not, simply reaching out to someone who looks like they might be in trouble can shock that person back to their senses and pull them back from the brink of disaster.

It costs nothing to give someone a gentle nudge, look him in the eyes and ask sincerely if he is ok or needs help. I know I’d much rather get help from a circuit sister than from law enforcement, and many times an emergency medical situation can be avoided simply by telling someone they need to pull themselves together.

“Eyes open and upright” is a great rule of thumb, and dancing it out always makes for a better night than falling out. There really is safety in our numbers, and I hereby resolve that you can lean on me the next time your swirl goes south. It’s the least I can do in return for all the ways I love my gays.

Happy New Year!

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