MONTEVIDEO – Hundreds of couples, including many of them the same-sex, danced the milonga in Montevideo’s Plaza Fabini demanding sexual and gender equality in doing this traditional Uruguayan dance.
Denisse Legrand, a member of Uruguay’s Ministry of Social Development promoted the “Inapproriate Milonga” event on social media in response to the expulsion of two women dancing the Tango in an event at the same plaza last week.
The initiative received a massive response as hundreds of people gathered in Plaza Fabini to do the Tango on Sunday.
Also present was the wife of former president Jose Mujica and ruling coalition Broad Front presidential candidate in the upcoming May elections, Lucia Topolansky, who danced with some of those present.
“What happened was absolutely despicable and those who are here have come to demonstrate that we don’t discriminate against anyone and that we are human beings like anyone else. We are doing that by dancing and in a peaceful way,” one demonstrator told Efe.
“We come to protest against discrimination and to show people that the Tango includes all people irrespective of their social condition, their sexual orientation or their age,” said a member of the La Callejera milonga group that performs on Wednesdays at Plaza Liber Seregni.
Florencia Veiro and Lucia Conde were on their way to the Sala Zitarrosa concert hall when they decided to participate in the milonga in Plaza Fabini only to be stopped by one of the organizers.
“We don’t want lesbians or gays here,” he told them, according to local media.
Last week, Montevideo’s municipal government announced the suspension of the license that it has been issuing to Yunta Brave for the last four years to use the plaza to perform the milonga, until April 11.
It also asked the organizers to admit their mistake, apologize to the two young women and take part in gender workshops.
Nonetheless, Yunta Brave member and Tango maestro and instructor Daniel Prates, 73, told the local newspaper Busqueda that he was not going to issue a retraction as, according to him, there had been no lack of respect, and that the gender workshop was just the authorities’ attempt to brainwash them.