A bullfighter revealed to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo that he is Spain’s first openly LGBTQ+ matador.
Mario Alcalde, 31, works as an airport baggage handler. But he is also one of Spain’s bullfighters.
As ‘Business Insider’ writes, Alcalde grabbed headlines in the country last month after opening up about his sexuality, telling the outlet that he was pansexual — someone attracted to another person regardless of their sex or gender.
“I follow my own path. I have different thoughts than other bullfighters,” Alcalde said.
“My tastes are not normal in bullfighting. Both politically and sexually. I am pansexual,” he added.
While he said he wasn’t sure how people in the bullrings would react to the news, he clarified that he “doesn't care what other people think.”
But in a later interview with the BBC, Alcalde said he had been pleasantly surprised by the response, saying that “people are accepting it and in the best way possible.”
He said he wanted to open a meeting place for bullfighting fans in Madrid’s LGBTQ+ neighbourhood of Chueca, per the report.
Alcalde is also hoping that his decision to come out will pave the way for others to do the same in a sport that has traditionally been associated with “machismo” — meaning a strong sense of masculine pride — and Spanish conservatism.
Bullfighting has long been a controversial topic both in Spain and around the world.
While it has been banned in many countries, the blood sport remains legal in many parts of Spain, according to the animal welfare organisation the Humane Society International (HSI).
Nevertheless, the popularity for bullfighting has declined over the years, and thousands have turned out at rallies demanding an end to the practice.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says that thousands of bulls die every year in bullfights, which it notes is an “inaccurate term” for an event that involves pitting a “nimble, sword-wielding matador” against a “confused, maimed, psychologically tormented, and physically debilitated animal.”
Supporters, on the other hand, claim that bullfighting is an art form that is deeply rooted in Spanish tradition.
Alcalde is one of them.
“If I had to live another life, I wouldn't mind being a brave bull and dying like a brave bull,” he told the BBC.
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