My Queer Dedication of “Dance with My Father”…

“As queers, some of us, may not have the best relationships with our fathers- but we can change that with love, patience and song.” -jm

My Dedication

I remember feeling so alone, unloved and distant from my dad at a certain point in my life. I had just come out of the closet to him or rather “forced out” when he found e-mails that I had sent to a boy online, circa 2000. My family was very tight and my coming out process was terribly difficult for both him and I. Looking back in retrospect, I am not quite sure who had it harder- my dad or myself.

I had support from my peers, school and organizations. He just had his silence, internalized homophobia and a conservative Christian family that reinforced hate (and they still do).

This song goes to the father that was once was lost. Unable to see through a clear lens of who I was as a queer man. Lost from the path that connected us two as humans. My father was gone. I was gone to him.

I am lucky to still have him around. I have his support now although it is still a struggle, after 13 years, we are working through it. There is light at the end of the tunnel. All you need is love.


About This Video

The young Aldrich Lloyd Talonding sang his little heart out in a rendition of the Luther Vandross original, “Dance with My Father.”  These talented boys are from the Philippines, General Santos City. The guitarist is James Walter Bucong – they are cousins. This video, posted April 21, 2013, has been shared several times on social networking sites and is quickly earning views on YouTube.

The Lyrics 

Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high and dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around ‘til I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved
If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
How I’d love, love, love
To dance with my father again
When I and my mother would disagree
To get my way, I would run from her to him
He’d make me laugh just to comfort me
Then finally make me do just what my mama said
Later that night when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he would be gone from me
If I could steal one final glance, one final step, one final dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
‘Cause I’d love, love, love
To dance with my father again
Sometimes I’d listen outside her door
And I’d hear how my mother cried for him
I pray for her even more than me
I pray for her even more than me
I know I’m praying for much too much
But could you send back the only man she loved
I know you don’t do it usually
But dear Lord she’s dying
To dance with my father again
Every night I fall asleep and this is all I ever dream

jonathan

Jonathan Menendez is a digital media entrepeneur/producer that focuses his work on the empowerment of marginalized communities through emergent media, specifically trans-queer people of color. His projects include the production of a documentary on gay Latino culture in L.A., the founding and creative development of xQsi Magazine and Qulture. He founded the Latin@ Queer Arts and Film Festival that is a collaboration with the LA LGBT Center. He has shared his work as a panelist at The Queer Media Conference, The People of Color Film Festival: FUSION and the the Queer Students of Color Conferences. He has worked as a consultant for AIDS Project Los Angeles/UCSF under the department of research with George Ayala to ensure a diverse sample of Latino recruits for a study. He just completed his graduate degree with an emphasis on Digital Art and New Media from the University of California Santa Cruz where he also served as a teaching assistant for two years.

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