We face homophobia in ballet as it treats gay boys as criminals

If a ballet studio has teenagers working alongside older male dancers, perhaps that makes them more susceptible to bullying.

That’s what happened to two teenage boys at Royal Ballet School in London, aged 14 and 15. Their tutor, with whom they were close, was aware of their struggle with exclusion and disinterest from their peers and used their experience to support the pair, singing their praises as good dancers and teachers.

Another male, in his 20s, is told by teachers that his dance career is dying, so he needs to pack his bags and leave.

One young gay dancer told his dancer colleague that his singing voice was broken and he needed to be tested, and although the younger dancer did the physical tasks himself, his teacher overheard and dismissed the young man’s diagnosis.

Three young men can be heard in the video on this page asking for help from adults, and being told that no one will listen. One tells his colleague, “I don’t want to take my sexual orientation into dance school.” He asks why nobody is willing to help him, to which the colleague responds, “There’s no one here who is good at that sort of thing.”

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