I have not seen this done in the UK. Maybe they were a bit taken aback, being the only Angry Dwarfs there and felt the need to justify themselves or they were trying to win empathy points? Either way, this sounds like fun!
Why don't you have a go at doing something similar at you next tournament and let us know the outcome?
"Hello My name is xxxxx and I am a Leo who likes puppies and rainbows and would like to make the world a better place" etc.
Sounds a lot better than:
"Hello My name is xxxxx, I like fires, knives and I am usually electronically tagged" etc..
I am NOT homophobic... I am NOT afraid of my own house!