My city has a very cool town square between the old courthouse/history museum and the movie theater, with fountains and lots of space for kids to run around. I really like the street fairs and music events. At the last one we went to, Moomin’s hip hop dance team was on stage doing a complicated 5 minute routine to Michael Jackson’s “Tabloid Junkie”.
I think parts of it were choreographed by Gary “Gee-1” Kendall who used to be part of the studio and its dance troupes and then was in JabbaWockeeZ. The teachers tell the kids about Gee-1 and they have retrospectives in his honor, with posters and tshirts. He must have been amazing and I always like how he’s remembered and the kids who never knew him look up to him.
The event was for teenagers and I was also happy to see the local high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance or LGBTQ organization. They seem to have the old-style name, but the longer and more inclusive alphabet philosophy. How cool that not only do they exist, we have an “old-style” name to look back on at all. I talked to the kids at the table and tried to say how happy it makes me they’re doing whatever it is they do, but my god, it’s impossible to convey! Imagine how someone from The Daughters of Bilitis or The Mattachine Society must feel looking at a huge gay pride parade. Even the names of their organizations had to be obscured.
As the kids danced to Tabloid Junkie I thought of how different the world is since my experiences as a young queer kid. Kids are still bullied and shamed and kill themselves over harassment about their sexual orientation or gender presentation, but at least in some areas, we have all this out-ness right in the town square.
The lyrics to Tabloid Junkie are about not believing everything you hear, like gossip that someone is homosexual or bisexual. That could be taken as meaning that being gay is a negative thing but I think the way it’s presented comes out positive and as a message of acceptance for the kids. I can’t even imagine in my schools in Texas in the 1980s that anyone would have allowed the word “homosexual” in a song in a public context with kids performing. So, I approve hugely!
Anyway, they are fabulous dancers and I love this video! Moomin and most of the team come out at around the 1:30 mark. One of the things that amazes me is how long this dance is and how the dance moves don’t repeat very much. They have learned this enormously long sequence of separate moves. Also, they look amazingly cool.