No More Runaways For Being Gay In Spain
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Politics and Activism

No More Runaways For Being Gay In Spain

Particularly if you lived in such a small place where ideas only go so far, being gay went against everything possible.

No More Runaways For Being Gay In Spain
World Pride Madrid 2017

It is 1960, and another child was born in a small village near Andalucia, Spain; increasing the population size to nearly 3,350 people. It is quite a routine living there. Every family is practically the same. Grandparents sit down on a small chair right in front of their house. Fathers, who the majority are countrymen, leave their house early in the morning to prepare for a minimum of 11 hours working. Mothers, stay home taking care of the children while they cook and clean the house for when their husbands arrive. There are kids playing in the narrow streets of their small neighborhoods. The girls have their dolls, and the guys have their small soldier figurines. Every Sunday, everyone attends church at 7:00am sharp. They all go at 12:00pm to buy the bread of the day so it is fresh for supper time. The village is so small, that everyone knows each other and talks about everyone. No one is left unseen or not talked about. Specially if you are slightly different than everyone else. Specially if you hide yourself, specifically so no one sees you or talks about you. It is quite hard to think that someone in the village would be different than everyone else. Nevertheless, there were many who were different. One who hid, one who was considered rare, and one who was different than everyone else was my father’s cousin, Manolo. Before, people who were gay were considered real psychopaths. Particularly if you lived in such a small place where ideas only go so far, being gay went against everything possible. Being gay went against religion, against morals, and against humanity. Manolo, was gay. Ever since he was little he had a different attitude than most boys in the village. Everyone said he was too fragile, and “such a faggot”. He never publicly mentioned his homosexuality. No one actually knew about it, just rumors. Manolo spent 20 years hidden in his fake smile, without being able to express himself the way he wanted in that village. If someone knew he was gay, he would be a dishonor to his family. He would be sent to a madhouse where he would live there forever, and die with remorse. It is not like today, where if you mention to your family that you are gay, most of the time you are accepted. Most importantly, you aren't sent to a madhouse as a psychopath, or killed because you were a rare kind. So there went Manolo’s 20 years in the village. Having to stick through all of the lies, and figuring out an answer to: “What girl do you like? Where is your girlfriend? What do you think of that girl over there?”. At the time, London was considered the most liberal city in the world, and that’s where Manolo went. Without any explanation or any confession about his homosexuality, Manolo left alone to a country that was completely unknown to him, just so he wouldn't be able to be a dishonor to his family. He never saw or talked to his family ever again since. No one knew anything about him since he left the small village. The only things that are known is that he met the love of his life in London, and before dying of a stroke, the only thing that had changed was Manolo. In all of the time he was gone, the village did not change one bit. Even when finding some freedom in London, Manolo was still left without family to support him, and incredibly touched about his past. It is so sad what some people have to go through in order to find their true selves. Now, things have changed in Spain, and I am happy to see that there is no reason to run away to hide who you really are.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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