Chase Johnsey will not be silenced.
On New Year’s Day, the dancer shared a video on YouTube announcing his resignation from the all-male troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo despite receiving media attention, and winning the Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer at the 17th National Dance Awards.
While the ballet champion calls the gig his “dream job” and thought the company stood for “openness” and “gender freedom” (as they perform in drag), he learned it was anything but.
In the emotional clip, Johnsey — who thought about transitioning in 2012 — said he was told he would “no longer be allowed to perform” if he went forward with the procedure. Chase — who identifies as “gender queer” — explains:
“I was thinking about transitioning in 2012, and I was told that If I transition that I wouldn’t no longer be allowed to perform. I would not have a performing role in the company anymore.”
Additionally, he claims dancers were harassed if they “look too feminine in ballet class,” and “weren’t allowed to wear certain things because it was too feminine.”
“We’re being bullied for expressing our femininity and we’re given ultimatums just because we don’t live up to a masculine idea of what a gay man is.”
Ultimately, Johnsey had to “stand up for what I believe in,” and strongly feels “trans people should have a place in ballet.”
WATCH the clip (below):
[Image via Chase Johnsey/Instagram.]