The "Dance of the 41" was a police raid that took place in Mexico City on November 18, 1901, during the regime of President Porfirio Diaz. The raid occurred at a dance of men that was taking place in the Tabacalera colony, where 21 men were dressed as men and 21 as women. 42 men participated in the dance, but only 41 were arrested, hence the name. The event was turned into a scandal by the Mexican press, despite the government's efforts to hide the matter, as those arrested belonged to the upper class of Porfirian society, including Ignacio de la Torre y Mier, the president's son-in-law. This event was one of the most sensational scandals of the early 20th century in Mexico.
This event is significant in the history of Mexico's LGBTQ+ community, as it highlights the discrimination and persecution that members of the community faced during that time. It is also important to note that this event took place during the period when mezcal and tequila were becoming popular in Mexico and around the world. However, it is worth mentioning that for a time, the distillation of mezcal and tequila was illegal in Mexico and was heavily regulated by the government. This means that the communities that produced and consumed these spirits, including LGBTQ+ individuals, felt similar oppression by the government.
February is LGBT history month and it is a perfect time to reflect on the contributions and struggles of the LGBTQ+ community in different aspect of society. The spirits industry, including the production and consumption of mezcal and tequila, has been shaped by the contributions of members of the LGBTQ+ community. It is important to recognize and celebrate their contributions, as well as to acknowledge the discrimination and challenges that they have faced and still face today.