Friday, May 14, 2010

Love, Equality and the Rumba

Although I don’t watch Dancing With the Stars, I did read in the latest issue of Equality, the magazine of the Human Rights Campaign, of how recently on the popular show, professional dancer and choreographer Louis van Amstel spoke out for marriage equality.

According to Equality, Amstel competes on Dancing With the Stars, “one of America’s most popular TV shows, drawing 23 million viewers weekly.” On a recent episode, after dancing a piece that told the story of an interracial couple in the ’50s, banned from marrying by US law, Amstel, who is gay, declared on air: “Everyone should be able to get married.”

Following is Equality’s brief interview Louis van Amstel.


Equality: So you raised the topic of marriage equality on the show. Was there any response?

Louis van Amstel: Hundreds wrote in, including many straight, married Christian women with children, saying they totally think it should be a right. They said how heartbreaking it would be if they could not marry the person they love. . . . The biggest reaction was from a Christian woman in Florida who absolutely did not understand the word “gay” or the freedom to be gay. In a long e-mail, she wrote how she did not agree with it. But she said, “The way you portrayed that storyline – I got it. I believe you should have the right, even though I disagree.

Equality: Growing up, did you always know you would be a dancer? Did you know you were attracted to men?

Louis van Amstel: The first question, yes. I started dancing when I was 10 and by 11, I knew this would be my life. The second question, I was 15 and I was so occupied with dancing . . . My mom actually said, “If you ever feel different, you know you can talk to your mom, right?” I had no idea what she was talking about. Somehow, it opened my mind. . . . And at 17, I had a trip to Germany. And I feel in love with someone.

Equality: So which dance is the sexiest?

Louis van Amstel: It depends. . . . If I personally dance with Karina [Smirnoff], who is also on the show, I would say the rumba.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Same Premise
The Response of One Gay Black Man to the Charge that King's Dream Has Been "Hijacked" by the Gay Movement

Recommended Off-site Link:
Dancing with Louis - Louis van Amstel’s Official Website.

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