(or more aptly titled Schell's thoughts on the scene and in response to Peter Ian Cumming's non Scene article featured in XY)
In 1997, I became reintroduced properly to dance music by a Plastic Puppet Motive night which was held within Saskatoon's gay bar, Diva's. That night featured resident PPM DJ Deko-Ze as well as one more I cannot think of. The environment I was introduced to was that of complete openness as well as of acceptance. The music, atmosphere and belonging was enough for me to come out of my little closet of wondering (that and seeing a really cute gay guy there).
For the next almost year I religiously attended the PPM nights at Diva's as well as taking in other raves in Saskatoon and spending my time at Diva's. Now needless to say Diva's absorbed all my cash alcohol wise and I left most of Diva's regular nights very unhappy and empty. It wasn't until I started attending more raves and making more friends within that scene that I was able to fully ascertain what I wanted out of it. And after making a brief disappearance to Edmonton I realized I needed to separate both the gay scene and the rave scene.
Funnily enough I realized that despite my bisexuality, I realized where I was more likely to be accepted and sadly that was the rave scene.
For the past two years I've been raving and while I was in Denver picked up a copy of XY and funnily enough it was a scene issue. I read Peter Ian Cummings commentary on why he is non scene and I agree with him up to a point. There are lots of drugs, feelings of covered up emptiness, too many people looking for sex etc. And hey there's Cher " Do you believe in life after love?" (just kidding folks I like Cher). In EVERY SCENE no matter what it is and where it is, you'll have drugs and you'll have all of that. But the reason why I love the rave scene compared to elsewhere?? The main reason I go is because I'm accepted for me far before I even get the same treatment at the gay bar.
One of the second reasons why I love the rave scene and related is the MUSIC. If I wanted to hear the same cheese I heard here on the radio, I will go to Diva's or some straight bar which is 10 times better here. There's a lot of energy that is associated with the rave scene and something that the gay scene doesn't have. Talking to a gay DJ a little while ago, he said to me "all the rave scene is built on drugs". Well in part it's calling the kettle black cause what do you think a gay bar is based on the sales of? Drugs are drugs regardless if it's in a bottle, a pill or needle. For the first year and a half in the rave scene I never once touched drugs. I took E last fall and am not ashamed to say I did it. I still enjoy raves without drugs, and anyone who can't has a most serious problem and should get out of the scene NOW.
Now please keep in mind that I live in a small province and our scene here is very small but solid and tight knit. I know that in bigger centers there is that sense of fragmentation and scene bullshit along the way. People remember though that the rave scene was built on PLUR (peace Love unity and respect) I have met many friends through the scene both straight and gay and I feel like I'm more in a family then I ever did in the gay community. In fact because of this I took on the call to begin DJing myself and I will be throwing my first event in June for gay pride. It's something I'm looking forward to, and something in which I hope will bring more of the gay ravers out. I'm hoping by throwing this gay pride rave, that I will be able to show people through my eyes what I find about the scene so enriching.
I guess for some people being non scene is their choice, considering it's what they want to do. But after all the letters I read in XY and Peter's article I thought I'd write this back. I'm not necessarily in the scene for sex, or all the temporary making of my feeling, rather I'm in it for the right reasons..