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Strictly Come Dancing star Susan Calman ‘offended’ by dance partner row

Susan Calman has said that she is “offended” by the row over her dance partner on Strictly Come Dancing.
The Scottish comedian, who is an out lesbian, faced criticism online for agreeing to dance with a male partner on the popular dance competition show.

Calman explained that it was a powerful statement that she could be on the programme, which draws millions of viewers.
She also complained that she was getting a lot more criticism than fellow competitor The Reverend Richard Coles who is a gay man.
The 42-year-old also said she was “absolutely not disappointed” by her pairing with a male dancer.

“I think politically, there’s nothing more powerful than having an openly gay woman on the biggest show on television, whose wife’s on the front row, doing what she wants to do.”
“For the gay community to criticise me and try to get me what they want to do is, I think, as difficult as suggesting the straight community are trying to.
“No one is holding me hostage in this room, making me wear a dress and dance with a man. I want to learn how to dance,” Calman added.
The writer went on to write that her decision to dance with a male does not detract from her work with the LGBT+ community.

“No one can say I haven’t stood up for my community. I have protested, I have picketed, I have fought, I have been spat on, I have been punched – and I want to dance,” she said.
The criticism follows backlash that executives of the show faced last year for not allowing Will Young or Judge Rinder to dance with a same-sex partner.
However, Calman said that she is the one facing criticism this time, not the higher ups.
She added: “There will be a time for same-sex dancing. I think what annoyed me slightly is that I seem to be getting it in the neck.
“Will Young didn’t get it, Judge Rinder didn’t get it, Richard Coles isn’t getting it. It seems to me as a woman, he’s not getting it the same way I am.

“And for me to be getting it is, I think, unfair. I seem to be getting the brunt of the LGBT community.”
She finished by adding that the reaction had become upsetting.
“To put the weight of the LGBT community on me – and changing platforms and changing perceptions – is unfair, upsetting and is ignoring the impact I will have in the biggest show on television.
“A lot of people are very supportive of my decision, but it’s making this about my sexuality instead of a woman wanting to learn how to dance,” she said. “The idea that people are depressed by it or upset by it, I think offends me because I’ve done a lot for that community.”

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