There was a time when the number 41 was considered very bad luck in Mexico. The Army used to leave the number 41 out of battalions, and in hospital/hotel rooms, Room #41 would just be skipped out entirely. It was so bad that some people would even skip out their 41st birthday completely!
This innocuous number became synonymous with Mexican queer culture in the early 1900s following a raid on a private party by police on 17th November 1901. At this party, there were 41 men: 22 dressed as men, 19 as women. There was, in fact, a 42nd person in attendance: Ignacio de la Torre, who was President Porfirio Díaz’s son-in-law. Whilst the police allowed Ignacio to escape, they arrested the remaining 41, beat them, jailed them, convicted them, then later conscripted them into the army as punishment. This became a massive scandal in Mexican society and became known as “The Dance of the 41” (“Baile de los 41”).
Whilst homosexuality was legalised in Mexico as far back as 1871, society remained so hostile to homosexuality that this scandal led to the vilification of the number 41. Calling someone 41 was akin to saying they were queer.