Spain gears up for Gay Pride Day

Flickr by álvaro jaramillo

RAINBOW flags are flying high and proud throughout Spain this week, fluttering from government buildings, businesses and homes in a show of support of LGBT individuals on International Gay Pride Day.
Throughout the country, LGBT advocates have been working to ensure that the day, celebrated internationally on June 28, is properly recognised. In Sevilla, the scene will be especially colourful as city councillor, Myriam Diaz, promised the city that the rainbow flag would be proudly displayed at city hall and at every civic centre in the city. Diaz, councillor for Equality, Youth, and University Community Relations, sees the multicoloured flag as a unifying symbol and pledges to work directly with LGBT associations at the city council level.
The rainbow flag will grace the city hall in Cordoba as well, where the Andalucian federation Arco Iris (Rainbow,) won a small victory, managing to convince the mayor, Isabel Ambrosio, to display the flag at the city’s local government headquarters for the first time in history.
Arco Iris, however, is concerned with more than just waving flags. Gonzalo Serrano, president of Arco Iris, is pushing for a plan to combat homophobia. His 15-measure plan – meant to be implemented at the city hall level – calls for the creation of an LGBT centre to support educators and students at the secondary school level and insists that alternative family models be included in elementary school activities.
Other measures include promoting respect for the diversity of the population and training police officers and sports staff on the norms governing discrimination and hate crimes.
Throughout the country, cities festooned with rainbow flags are planning events to celebrate International Gay Pride Day; however, in the capital city the festivities will arrive a bit late. Madrid is home to one of the biggest gay pride parades in the world, with more than two million people marching through the streets.
The event, which is so large that it overshadowed other pride events, was pushed back a week, allowing revellers to participate in smaller regional events as well. The Madrid Orgullo, or Pride, is such a large event that it has gradually turned into more of a city-wide party rather than an event advocating for gay rights. In addition to the parade – which takes place on Saturday July 4 from 6pm to midnight – visitors can also rock out to free concerts throughout the city´s plazas, attend hot parties in night clubs and cheer on participants running in drag in a stiletto high heel race.


  1. I considered your statement ” homophobes have blood on their hands” for all of about one second and then discarded it as pure nonsense.
    Don’t equate the laws and beliefs of other nations with those in Europe.
    You people have what you wanted, i.e. cohabitation, marriage and children, so why the hell don’t you just accept that and live your lives as others do instead of parading and constantly pushing for more and more.
    As you said, you have equality under the law so be satisfied and get on with it without all the whinging!!!!
    Your ranting is getting somewhat tiresome!!!!!!

  2. “so the solution is for all of us gay people to keep ourselves hidden from the world” – Rubbish!
    That is NOT what I said and you damn well know it. Stop twisting peoples words to make you look like the victim here.
    Just live your life in a quiet way like we do and stop all the stupid ‘Gay’ parades which I call ‘shoving your lifestyle in peoples faces’. Few decent people want to see men in ‘mankinis’ and scantily clad women cavorting down the street with the message ‘Look At Me I’m GAY’.
    Its way past time when you just joined society as a group and lived your lives as they rest of us do without all the rants in columns such as this. If you are able to do this hardly anyone would notice you.
    But no! You have to shout it from the rooftops and take away people’s livelyhoods with your constant court battles because some devout Christian hotel owner would not let you have a room because you are not married. You have to bring pressure on the education system to actually PROMOTE your way of life with children as young as five or six, as a couple of examples.
    Sorry, but that does not work for me, and I might add, probably many others in the country, and I am talking about the UK here not Spain as you so erroniously put it in another rant.
    Its time you people realized that not everyone is going to accept the way you live, and never will, but if you just accepted that and got on with your lives in a quiet manner you would get a lot less flak.
    Its the old old saying – YOU GET WHAT YOU SOW!

  3. “be narrow-minded and prejudiced if you wish, but keep it private” – I don’t see homosexuals keeping it private when they stage their ‘Gay’ parades!
    Incidentally, I notice that several of my comments have not appeared EWN.

  4. “women raped and killed on the street at night are attacked by HETEROSEXUAL men. Teenage girls who get pregnant are HETEROSEXUAL and the boys who got them pregnant are HETEROSEXUAL”
    Ha! you really made me laugh with that one. Homosexual man do not do these things becase THEY CAN’T. they are ‘Gay’ and don’t like women!!!!! Lesbians can’t get pregnant because they don’t like MEN!
    Keep them coming Kally. I love it!

  5. Not sure if this is someone who hasn’t got more to do than stir a wooden spoon or if there are some loose screws, I can’t work out which Roy 😉

  6. Like I have already said Kally, you have the right to cohabit, marry and bring up children, what more do you want for crying out loud?
    Not everyone has to LIKE you, just as not everyone is a Man United fan or a Conservative. Get on with your life and stop your perpetual moaning about inequality!!!!

  7. We have to fight for visibilty if people like you want to force us into oblivion and CONTINUE to ‘disapprove’ of a whole sector of society for no logical reason. You cannot disapprove of people for the way they’re born; it’s not their fault, they can’t help it. Did you know that there are homosexuals out there who don’t ‘practise’ because they’ve been single for so long, or widowed???? That doesn’t stop them being homosexual. If they slept all day and never left home, they would still be gay. That’s like ‘disapproving’ of someone for being British (they’d have a point, actually, in Benidorm, Salou and Magaluf, the appalling way the Brits behave there. Straight Brits in the main) or ‘disapproving’ of someone because they’re left-handed. That’s ludicrous, and such irrational, collective hatred is YOUR problem, not ours. Why don’t you try treating everyone as an individual human, rather than judging aspects of them they couldn’t change if they wanted to?!
    Men in ‘mankinis’ are usually stag-party drunkards, ie straight. Scantily-clad women (oh…where??? Sounds good to me 😀 ) are normally, drunks in places like Magaluf who don’t know how to behave. All this debauchery you read about, all these drunken antics at fiestas, on Saturday nights after ‘chucking-out’ time, are predominantly protagonised by straight people.
    Children at school need to know about different ways of life, because by the time they get to nine or 10, some might be gay themselves. Many will have gay parents, gay aunts and uncles, gay grandparents, gay parents’ friends. They need to be aware it’s acceptable before they’re old enough to be brainwashed by bigots like you. You cannot ‘promote’ homosexuality, because you either ARE gay or you’re not. Just as you couldn’t choose to be gay, I couldn’t choose to be straight. I can’t choose to be 6ft tall. I can’t choose my shoe size. I can’t choose to have been born in August so I can celebrate my birthday in summer. I can’t choose to be left-handed. To this end, you can’t ‘promote’ being left-handed or being 6ft tall. You either are or you’re not. You can’t ‘promote’ being black, as you’re either born white or black. But where there’s ignorance, there’s prejudice.
    My baby brother was told I and my then fiancée were together ‘just like mummy and daddy’, when he was eight. My ex’s grandson was told at three. Neither reacted. They’ve just grown up knowing that it’s a normal variation on love. They’re just as baffled by homophobia now they’re adults as most other people are.
    Your ‘friends’ who refused to let a room to a non-married couple (who couldn’t marry legally anyway, but probably wanted to) are not Christians, they’re just bigots. Gay or straight, black or white, I’m sure their money was as good as any other customer’s. It’s none of their business whether their customers are married or not; that’s a private matter between the couple. This has nothing to do with Christianity, because (a) nowhere in the teachings of the Lord does it say an unmarried gay couple cannot rent a room, and (b), Christianity is about love, peace, acceptance and treating everyone with respect. Love thy neighbour, etc. There’s nothing about ‘love thy neighbour only if he or she is heterosexual’.
    You’re entitled to be a bigot, sure. But until people like you keep it private and stop shoving your views down others’ throats, causing depression, health problems, isolation and worse to the community of total strangers you hate so irrationally, we still have work to do. Homophobia is ILLEGAL. Every western country’s constitution outlaws discrimination on the grounds of gender, race and sexual orientation. If people choose to break those laws and discriminate publicly, they should expect reprisal.
    If they choose to discriminate privately, not make offensive comments in public which harm people, well then we’ll just let them get on with it and feel sorry for them with their disturbing affliction, and hope we never have to meet them.
    For your sake, I hope one of your kids, grandchildren, nieces or nephews turns out to be gay so you can see for yourself.
    For their sake, I hope they don’t, because they’ll be subjected to your irrational prejudices and this will harm them.
    BTW, my Grandma is the most devout Christian I know, and would never discriminate against gay people, she loves her lesbian granddaughters and neighbours, takes us to church with her, was desperate for us to get married and was bursting with pride at my cousin’s wedding, and hopes she’ll still be around for me to fall in love and marry. She’s VERY Christian, takes communion at home if she can’t get to church, and she’s 90. I doubt you’re 90 yet, and I can see you’re not a true Christian.
    By the way, why are you talking about what happens in the UK????? This is Spain we’re living in, hadn’t you noticed?????

  8. This has more to do with narrow-minded bigots than anything else. Why don’t you just crawl back under your stones? The world will be a nicer place without your offensive comments.

  9. If you could read English, you’d see what we still want, deserve, and have the right to. But for the thousandth time:
    – We want equal widows’ and widowers’ pensions
    – We want equal rights to fertility matters
    – We want our children not to suffer bullying in schools
    – We want to NOT be refused rooms to rent or cakes baked because of the PRIVATE nature of our relationships
    – We want our Christians, Jews and Muslims to be accepted by their Church communities
    – We want to be free from insults, name-calling and all other aspects of homophobia in public and in private. (That means we want to be free of comments like yours).
    – We want gay people in the third world protected from violence (no doubt you’re one of those people who moans about asylum-seekers – well, we’d cut down on those if gay people in the third world didn’t have to flee their country and become refugees in Europe).

    You make the mistake of thinking we’re some kind of collective weird sect of identical characteristics. There are plenty of gay people I dislike and straight people I love very much. There are gay people I like and straight people I don’t. I don’t decide whom to like based upon who their partners are. We’ll be liked or disliked as individuals based upon what people we meet think of us, and I can assure you, I have very good friends and generally get on well with most people I meet. This is neither because of, nor in spite of, being gay.

    Homophobia is NOT the same as ‘not supporting Manchester United’ or ‘being a Conservative voter’. It is BIGOTRY. It is ILLEGAL, it is DANGEROUS, and it has COST LIVES. It is NOT acceptable in public, or in private, so if you do suffer from this totally irrational prejudice against people you don’t even know and have never met, kindly refrain from inflicting it on the rest of the world and keep your disturbing views to yourself.

    Can you read the above or should I spell it out in letters of one syllable???

  10. You think men rape women because they LIKE them???? You think men kill women because they LIKE them????? Rape is not sex, it’s violence and power. Don’t be so ridiculous. In any case, gay men could rape men and lesbians could rape women, but how often do you hear about that happening? The vast majority of rapes are perpetrated against women, by men, and they generally are heterosexual. But that doesn’t mean they do it because they fancy the woman!!!!!!! What century do you live in?! Next thing you’ll tell me ‘she should be flattered by the attention’. (I sincerely hope you don’t).

    Of course lesbians can get pregnant. How do you think they get children – the stork drops them off?! We DO have ovaries and wombs, you know. We’re women, funnily enough. There’s a thing called a ‘sperm bank’ where you can get baby-seeds and implant them yourself. Sometimes gay men come to an arrangement with a lesbian friend, and they share custody of the child. But quite obviously, they don’t conceive their joint baby the same way straight people do.

    It was YOU who compared being homosexual with dangers on the streets and teenage pregnancy, not me. I told you at the time I couldn’t see the connection. And actually, that was one argument I used when my parents gave me homophobic rants in the ’90s – they wouldn’t have to worry about my becoming a teenage pregnancy statistic.
    Or being date-raped…
    Or suffering domestic violence…

  11. Homosexuality isn’t offensive and dangerous; homophobia is. Hence, homophobia should be kept private; homosexuality harms nobody so we can be openly gay if we want to. Do you sort of get the picture now…?
    (Probably your comments haven’t appeared because they have to be checked first, and if there was nobody in the office early in the morning to check them, they’ll still be in the queue).

  12. You need help, because you’re prejudiced against millions of total strangers who’ve done nothing to harm you and don’t even know you. That’s disturbing. Get some counselling.
    You don’t know anything about me, so you have no grounds to say I ‘need help’. I did 20 years ago when I was surrounded by homophobes, but now those are falling into extinction, thank goodness, I don’t have to be surrounded by them any longer. I can love whom I want and it’s nobody else’s business.

  13. Oh Dear! Perhaps I should have explained that remark in words of one syllable. Lesbians don’t get pregnant from EACH OTHER!
    I am well aware that rape is violence and it is shameful. For me, any man who rapes women should be castrated and thats it.

  14. No, lesbians can’t get pregnant from each other (although one can carry the other’s egg so they can share the child-creation experience). You didn’t clarify that’s what you were talking about. But anyway…your point here is…what?

    For once I agree with you, concerning part II: any man who rapes women should be castrated and that’s it. I’d go one step further and say without an anaesthetic, plus they should charge spectators for tickets, and give the money to the Rape Crisis Centre.

  15. “the right to express an opinion on any subject’ makes it acceptable to insult, humiliate, attack, offend and make rude and disrespectful comments to anyone you want?”

    Lets go back to the beginning for the second time – Once again you twist my words to suit your own purpose. I have not done any of the above during my opening statement.
    All I said was I personally do not agree with ‘Gay’ Parades and am disgusted that the Spanish Authorities are promoting it.
    If you remember, I also stated that I do not like to have homosexuality ‘shoved in my face all the time’ i.e. by parades featuring scantily clad men and women and constant whining by the Gay community.
    NONE of this was aimed at an individual, it was NOT an attack, just a statement of opinion which I am entitled to do. None of it was rude, disrespectful or aimed at any single person (certainly not you) so get off your high horse and stop playing the victim here.

  16. Kally, I am sure that there are many other people who would like to comment on different subjects here but your rants (and my replies) are taking up the whole comments column. Therefore I am finishing it right now because I can see no end to it.
    Suffice it to say that you have adequately expressed your point of view, as I have mine, and we will obviously never agree.
    So live your life as you see fit and I will do the same. I wish you luck and happiness in your life, and hope that you can calm down sufficiently to blend in with society.
    Good luck!

  17. That’s disturbing. But which paper…? NOT the Daily Fail, surely….? If so, take it with a kilo of salt.
    I personally believe most religions are outdated and controlling. Not the faith, I don’t mean Islam or Christianity themselves are outdated and controlling, but the various interpretations of them. The Catholic Church is out of date, Methodist not so much (a divorced female vicar ‘married’ my dad and his wife. It’d be unthinkable in Spain, let alone Italy). So it shows the power of interpretation: they’re both Christianity, but one is far more liberal than the other. Thankfully, with Pope Francisco at the helm, I think the Catholic Church may well become more open and relevant sooner or later.
    If the polls really are representative, that’s chilling. On the other hand, Muslims in Algeria staged a protest yesterday filling the streets and clamouring against ISIS, which definitely wasn’t contrived; and it was Muslim lifeguards who acted as a human shield to protect the British tourists on the beach in Sousse, Tunisia.
    There’s always the school of thought that says peaceful Muslims may support the ideas behind ISIS – that the US has caused massacre and misery in their lands for no good reason – and they’re incensed (like separatists who support the political messages behind ETA or the IRA, but condemn the violence).
    And you don’t believe in polls…
    But just as there are radical and extremist Christians who think we should be living according to the Gospel of St Paul in Ancient Israel (‘fornicators out – sex is for reproduction only’; ‘never mind good deeds, if you don’t have the faith good deeds won’t get you into heaven, but if you do you’ll get there despite your sins as long as you ask for forgiveness’) there are no doubt radical Muslims.
    Neither, in my view, are either Christians or Muslims, not in the true sense and spirit.
    Look, it was good which won over evil and ended two world wars – the same will happen over ISIS. It simply MUST.
    There could of course be Muslims in the Intelligence services, or acting as infiltrators and being ‘symbolically’ arrested – but we won’t find out about that because it would blow their cover and ruin the whole operation.
    I don’t know what needs to be done, to be honest. Education at grass-roots level will surely help, but although our human instinct is to want to murder and torture these evil specimens and give them a taste of their own, unfortunately that would inflame the situation.
    Let’s just hope the Intelligence services have a jolly good strategy tucked away.

  18. Your initial comment was insulting, humiliating, attacking, offensive, rude and disrespectful, so yes, you HAVE done all of that.
    ‘Gay parades’ are just a street party, although some of it is undeniably part of our ongoing quest for equality. The original article here states exactly what we still need in terms of equality in the west; you should re-read it – and remember that no heterosexual has ever been fired, banned from marrying, or beaten up and insulted by bigots in the street just for being heterosexual. My ex was gang-raped as a teenager by a group of male youths who felt she needed to be ‘shown what she was missing’.
    Gay people do not ‘shove their persuasion in people’s faces’. Think about this carefully: 10 years ago my ex-girlf and I were chatting to a group of people in a restaurant we’d just met, mainly about our new-ish lives in Spain and the good points and pitfalls. We said, we bought our house last year, ripped out the kitchen and this year we’re hoping to do the bathroom. Cue: awkward silence. By talking about our house and DIY efforts, we’d inadvertently admitted we were living together and in a relationship. We’d ‘flaunted the gay agenda’; we’d ‘shoved it down their throats’.
    Another time I hugged my girlfriend on a street corner. I wasn’t groping her up or anything unsightly (anything which would have been unsightly in a heterosexual or homosexual couple, in public) just hugged her. A group of people shouted from their car, “keep it to yourselves, lesbos, stop shoving it in people’s faces.” If you hugged YOUR wife on a street corner, this same group wouldn’t have noticed, or they’d have said, ‘aww, how sweet’.
    I make sure everyone I meet knows I’m gay – if nobody does, I’m never going to find a girlfriend, am I? Because other women out there like me would probably do likewise, and wouldn’t even think about getting to know me with a view to more; if you know or think a girl is straight, there’s no point.
    A decade ago I literally watched my every word, especially at work. How do you answer questions about your home life without using personal pronouns? You can in Spanish to a certain extent, but but you then have to avoid adjectives (‘my other half comes from England’, not ‘my other half is English’, which would give it away). You see, I couldn’t afford to get fired. I had a mortgage. (Still do, and now know my sexuality is no longer going to get me fired – thank God).
    There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being open about being gay, just as there’s nothing wrong with being openly heterosexual. Gay AND straight women have far more problems with men ‘shoving their heterosexuality in our faces’ – distasteful comments shouted from cars; “Ehhh, I’LL put your suncream on!” when you’re on the beach; men sidling up to you and staying within a foot of you on the dance floor, even when you pointedly move every time he does; men walking up to you out of nowhere and planting themselves at your bar table – ·Excuse me, can I ask you a question? What’s your name? Where are you from? Have you got a boyfriend?”; when it’s 40ºC in ths shade and too hot for a bra, having to walk very slowly to avoid yucky comments from men on the street; when it’s 40ºC in the shade, wearing a short skirt means you’re ‘up for it’ rather than ‘it’s too hot for longer skirts’, and they won’t leave you alone….
    Homosexuals having a street fiesta one day a year doesn’t do you much harm. Stay at home or go out for the day to the countryside or a town which isn’t celebrating it if you don’t like rainbows. I’ve never seen men or women stripping off at Gay Pride, although scantily-clad at times, yes, because it’s hot. Then again, men walk into supermarkets and bars topless and sweating all over the fruit and veg, and they’re usually straight. Generallly, it’s a silly and happy parade, often in fancy dress, followed by lots of music tents. Pretty much the same as the patronales in every town.
    +Heterosexuality being thrust in lesbians’ AND even straight women’s faces as I’ve described is far more of an invasion and a breach of social etiquette.
    Not all street parades ARE to everyone’s taste; I know people who go to Murcia or Granada to escape the Fallas.

  19. Oh, we do blend quite nicely into society in the main. I manage that by generally being kind and thoughtful (or trying to) and intelligent and having a dry sense of humour. Others do because they’re fun and lively, or good conversationalists, or…
    Not because of, or in spite of, being gay.
    You’ve established you abhor racism (so I should think), because, as I’m sure you agree, it’s irrational and unfair to be ‘against’ a community of millions of people you don’t know based upon something they were born with.
    But that’s what homophobia is.
    I’ve seen in others (and to a certain extent myself) the damage homophobia can cause. You might think it’s harmless, but it’s not. Homophobes could be parents, siblings, friends, and their impact on their gay loved ones, especially if they reject them, can be devastating. Homophobes could be bosses; how do you prove you were passed over for promotion, disciplined or fired on a trumped-up excuse to disguise your boss’ dislike of you just because you can’t help being gay? Contrary to popular myth, few homosexuals would ‘use’ their orientation to claim ‘unfair sacking’ when it was actually that they just weren’t very good. Proving it is nearly impossible.
    A doctor or a teacher who expressed homophobic sentiments, even off duty, even on their personal Facebook sites, would be instantly struck off; that’s how unacceptable it is. After all, you frequently need to tell doctors you’re gay for medical reasons.
    Children in schools need support if they suspect they’re gay, and if they’re bullied because of it or because of their parents being gay, too. Teachers have a duty to stamp it out and provide this support, and they know it.
    I haven’t mentioned my personal situation much, but homophobia in the workplace, the family, and wider society meant I attempted suicide at age 12, was on anti-depressants by my teens, and battled with anorexia and bulimia. I’ve been very, very ill with anorexia as a very young adult. I was on drips, had blood transfusions. I was in physical pain because it destroyed the nerve-endings. Partly, I wanted to starve myself into oblivion because I felt repulsive, I wanted to disappear. Partly, I wanted to show the world I was in pain and needed help, because I couldn’t actually voice it; how can you tell homophobic adults you feel life isn’t worth living because you’re gay and know you’ll never be accepted? As a teenager, I’d always dreamed of a white wedding and children. One day, I realised I’d never be able to have either. This was soul-destroying. I didn’t know things would change for the better…
    And all this leaves its scars. I’ve been lucky; others have fared worse.
    For me, Gay Pride is a personal celebration: I did it. I’m alive. I’ve never been ‘cured’ of my bulimorexia, but now the causes have been largely taken away, it’s under control. It’s a personal celebration, because I don’t have to hide in the shadows, be that terrified teenager who was frightened to make friends with girls at school in case it showed on my face I was disgusting and dangerous.
    I look back at that child as though she’s someone else’s; I don’t see her as me. And I want to hug her, and tell her, hang in there, it WILL be alright. There is nothing wrong with you, you just want to love and be loved, like everyone else. You just want to not be rejected by the masses based upon something you can’t help, but that day WILL come. Please don’t starve yourself, please don’t take your life. You are OKAY, you are NOT a freak, you have so much to give.
    Now I’m pushing 40 pretty hard and cannot believe there was ever a time when a child had to go through that, and at the hands of the adults put there to protect and guide her through life. Now I’m pushing 40, I don’t HAVE to suffer the way an impressionable child would. Now, the world has moved on, I’ve had decades to repair the damage, and I’ve come out the other side – although the physical reminders of the anorexia still bite me, 20 or 30 years later.
    But this damage, caused by homophobia, need never have been done. I’m reclaiming my childhood now; I do fun things, laugh as much and as hard as I can, tell people I love them, surround myself with pussycats at night (live teddy-bears) and build the toys in Kinder eggs. I have friends; I’ve even made friends with my old classmates now we’re adults.
    Had I been born 20 years later, none of this would have happened. I wouldn’t have cost the health service so much, wouldn’t have dropped out of college because of being bullied for being gay and had to pay a fortune for my distance-learning education, or been so painfully timid and introvert.
    Feeling sorry for myself? No. I’m proud I survived and it’s made me a more empathic, understanding person.
    And I’m very lucky. I got off lightly. Homophobia has caused far worse traumas for others. Mine was nothing in comparison.


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