(a.k.a. “Baile de los cuarenta y uno” in Spanish)
On November 18th, 1901 the Mexican Police carried out a raid in house located in Mexico City Centre, where a party was held and where 19 “men dressed in women’s clothing (crossdressers)” and 22 other “dandies” were detained for “immoral conduct”.
“On Sunday night, at a house on the fourth block of Calle la Paz, the police burst into a dance attended by 41 unaccompanied men wearing women’s clothes. Among those individuals were some of the dandies seen every day on Calle Plateros. They were wearing elegant ladies’ dresses, wigs, false breasts, earrings, embroidered slippers, and their faces were painted with highlighted eyes and rosy cheeks. When the news reached the street, all forms of comments were made and the behavior of those individuals was subjected to censure. We refrain from giving our readers further details because they are exceedingly disgusting —contemporary press report”
Official information states that 41 men were detained. However, through rumors, that were neither confirmed nor denied by Mexican Government, it was known that initially 42 men were detained, but the 42nd of them was Mr. Ignacio de la Torre y Mier, who was married with Amanda Diaz, daughter of Mr. Porfirio Diaz (President of Mexico, and Mexico’s last dictator).
Rumors claimed, Mr. Ignacio de la Torre achieved to escape through the roof of the house and by this mean avoid public attention because his high status in Mexican Politic Environment; while the other 41 men were convicted and conscripted into the army and sent to fight the Castle War:
“The derelicts, petty thieves, and crossdressers sent to Yucatán are not in the battalions of the Army fighting against the Maya Indians, but have been assigned to public works in the towns retaken from the common enemy of civilization.—El Popular, November 25, 1901.”
Derived from this, for almost 50 years the numbers 41 and 42 were adopted by Mexican language to refer to homosexuality.
Some people believe that Mr. Ignacio was also Emilizano Zapata’s, Mexican Revolution Leader, gay lover.