Setting the stage for resistance and remembrance
I feel like the author is writing about a staple cultural influence that impacted, not only their own life but the entire culture across the specific area and in what ways it did so. They focused on one influence, Arena Nightclub, and how it impacted the queer and latinx culture of LA and California. They collected statements of club goers and brought light to the history of what was happening in California that was affecting the community but they also included their own perspective to express how much this meant to them as a queer latinx person. They talk towards the end of keeping the history alive through memory and recordings because of the fact that so much of queer and latinx history in California gets erased and whitewashed.
Reading this article gave me a new understanding of the queer history in LA and California as well as some really cool history and information about the latinx community. The Arena Nightclub sounds like a club that I actually really loved to go. It was a place of safety to a large majority of queer latinx people as well as other minorities and some white people, DJ Irene greatly helped make it the home that so many people saw it as. The author used their own perspective as well as the perspective of other club goers and some of the performers to give the reader a sense of what the Arena meant to the people that found a second home there. One of the points that the author brought up was DJ Irene’s use of the word “house” in her iconic beginning phrase as well as it showing up in many of the songs she would play in her sets. The author describes DJ Irene’s shout outs during her performances as “dissident sonic interpolations” which are described as sounds that people can feel and see themselves represented in. This launches the author into talking about “queer listening” which is described as a way of queer people can connect to what reaches outside of their obvious way of hearing to a point that they can simply feel it. The author believes that there was a similar way of listening with the latinx community because the Arena became one of the few places where they were completely welcome and safe. A huge factor was the government at the time with a lot of racism, anti-immigration, and homophobia from the Republican government, these all caused a lot of queer minoritized youth to search for a safe place to call home and many of them found it at the Arena Nightclub. I had no clue that a proposition had been placed in California to ban Affirmative Action and Bilingual Education. Why is state history not taught in schools? I feel like I never knew about these actions that were barely 20 years ago even though I have lived in California my entire life. Even though I was lucky enough to learn more in depth about the AIDS Crisis in my 11th grade U.S. history class, all of that was based around the information about the riots in New York because of Stonewall being in New York, we never learned about how it was affecting others states even though we knew it was country wide. How can I learn more about the queer history of California when so much for our history is erased and whitewashed? The author answers this in a way when they are talking about how the “sonic archive…becomes a form of footage” regardless of if that’s an audio recording or a memory. I guess it’s a matter of seeking out the right sources like this article, sources that speak from the heart and soul of a community.