It was November 17, 1901 and police executed an illegal raid in Mexico City to break up a party. The party became infamous in Mexico because the attendees were all upper class men, half dressed as women. The police raid exposed a frequent LGBTQ+ party that led to an infamous scandal involving the president’s son-in-law.

Netflix is telling the incredible story of the Dance of the Forty One.

The Dance of the Forty One is one of the most infamous LGBTQ+ scandals in the world that still has an impact today. Forty one is used as a homophobic slur in Mexico to this day because of the infamous night at the beginning of the twentieth century.

The story goes that 42 men would meet regularly to dance and party with half of them dressed as women. The night that police raided the party sent shockwaves through the conservative and Catholic country. The idea of large LGBTQ+ gatherings was something that most of Mexican society was not aware of nor prepared to accept.

David Pablos’ take is a visual masterpiece diving into this piece of LGBTQ+ history.

One of the biggest scandals that come from the Dance of the Forty One was the involvement of President Porfirio Díaz’s son-in-law. When the police raided the party, there were allegedly 42 men so that there were 21 couples dancing. However, one of the men caught up in the party was the son-in-law to the president of the time. It is rumored that he was ushered out by authorities and separated from the other 41 men who faced punishment to save the president and his family embarrassment.

The movie has sparked in interest in viewers to learn more about the historical moment.

The story isn’t well-known, especially in the U.S. Since it’s the start of Pride Month, it is refreshing to see people taking a renewed interest in LGBTQ+ history. The 41 men who were arrested and punished for the party all faced different outcomes. Some of those of means were able to pay their way out of trouble while some of them had family who rescued them. For the rest, shunned by society, they were sent off to work camps around the country, especially the Yucatan.

The film highlights a long-running theme fo humiliation the LGBTQ+ community has overcome.

For a long time, LGBTQ+ people were made to feel ashamed for being who they are and loving who they love. The Dance of the Forty One is a reminder of the discrimination LGBTQ+ people have, and currently, experience around the world. The “Dance of the 41” is currently streaming on Netflix.

READ: The Dance Of The 41 Is A Bit Of Mexican Queer History That Many Don’t Know But It’s Impact Lingers To This Day