Friday, October 03, 2008

Pride AND Prejudice in Tango

Sometimes I am amazed at the level of prejudice and arrogance that exists still today. And it's creepy little hold even extends to tango. Although I think what amazes me more is that people seem to think it is ok to voice these prejudices. Just don't voice them to me, because I have a tongue and I am not afraid to use it.

Recent conversation steamed me to the point of my Irish getting up into the stratosphere. It was said to me at a recent tango event, that they could not possibly dance with someone who was gay, and it was beyond their understanding why there should be a gay/lesbian practica. I was floored for about three seconds, and then asked them how on earth would they know if their partner was gay? Well, of course this person would know, they "would not be able to connect."


Uhm, hate to tell you my friend, but you HAVE danced with a partner who plays for the other team, and you did not seem to mind one bit.

I simply said that I had danced with gay men, and gay women, and had simply marvelous connections. So that little statement does not hold water.

There was some persistence on the other person's part on how being gay in tango was an issue, and I just felt the need to stop being polite to this person in this conversation.

Why the hell does anyone think that someone's sexual alignment has anything to do with their ability to connect in the dance? It's absurd. And it pissed me off. Although what actually got my fuse lit was the fact that it was said to me in such an off-handed way, as though there was no doubt in this person's head that of course I would agree with them. And why would anyone want to keep the scope of our tango community limited? It's the same as saying "Oh, blondes should not dance tango, I just can't connect with them because I am sexually attracted to brunettes." It has no bearing whatsoever and just makes you sound like the exit side of a donkey.


Mtnhighmama said...

Thank You!

Caroline said...

There is a certain famous tanguero who is gay. I bet all those prejudiced snobs would be shocked if they know who.

Elizabeth said...

I always think that because of the warm embrace, the connection, that tango people are nice. It is a shock and a dose of cold reality to know that often, alas, they are not.
Eyes wide open, Elizabeth

miss tango said...

Sometimes it may be easier to dance with someone you know is not interested in you sexually...then at least you can fully open up without worrying about any "miscommunications".

Tina said...


Well they should check out Buenos Aires if they don't get it - we have gay milongas and practicas down here, which are very popular. Also, as Caroline says, there is a certain famous (very famous) tanguero who happens to be gay. And there are others.

Hey, the worst, most absent tango connection I've ever had was with a straight guy, while I've danced with gay men who have brought me to heaven. Why should it matter, seriously.

Red Shoes said...

Ugh. Not only is it wildly bigoted, ignorant, and disgusting, it's also drastically reductive. Since when is tango only about sexual interest?