Famous Gay People from Spain

When my employer at SuiteLife proposed that I write a list of openly Spanish and famous Gay people for their series 'From Behind The Rear,' I have to admit I was quite skeptical that I would find as many as 10 public figures. Three months ago this would have surprised me as much as you. For a long time, Spain has been viewed as an up-and-coming leader where equal rights are concerned - especially with its strong gay movement and legalized gay marriage - this alone had me believe that this article would be a delicious piece of cake. Gay celebrities would be found in abundance but the truth is, they are not. My theory is this: Spain is still very much stuck in its traditional, mediterranean ways, in other words, the strong macho culture they are known for has proven difficult to crack despite the high tolerance to the LGBT community. However, this doesn't mean that there isn't any one  out of the closet, it's just not as many as one would think which is dissappointing. But with a little research I did find a list of famous homosexuals from Spain (not all from the 21st century or even in the realms of singers, actors, etc) but fame is found in many forms.

1. Alejandro Amenabar (1972)

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I didn't know whether this man qualified completely as a famous gay from Spain due to the fact he was born in Santiago, Chile. Nonetheless, he has earned his spot on this list because he paid his dues by winning 9 Goyas and one Academy Award. If these accolades weren't reasons enough then perhaps the fact that he has written the screenplays to all five of his movies and made almost all of their sound tracks is.

2. Cristobal Balenciaga (1895)

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One of the most famous gay people in Spain. Even among the most darkest times beauty can blossom. This happened to fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga, who in 1951, totally transformed the silhouette of how women dressed. He was the designer of the tunic dress and chemise dress which led to the Empire line known for their broad shoulders, high-waisted dresses and coats cut like kimonos. He was born in a fishing town in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa on January 21st, 1895. There he spent time with his mother who was a seamstress and then went to apprentice in tailoring. Because of his talent and hard work, he was sent to Madrid where he formally trained in tailoring and developed his own method in couturiers using his own hands to design, cut, and sew the models raising his artistry to new heights and making him one of the few couturiers in fashion history. He was so successful during his early career as a designer in Spain that he opened a boutique in San Sebastian in 1919 which expanded into Madrid and Barcelona until the Spanish Civil War forced him to close them down although by this time the Spanish Royal Family was wearing his designs.  In the end, he opened a branch in France leading to an iconic fashion career which was helped when he made the wedding dress for Fabiola de Mora y Aragon when she married king Baudouin I of Belgium in 1960.

3. Boris Izaguirre (1965)

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Here is another Famous Homosexual from Spain that was originally born in another country. Boris Izaguirrer was born in Caracas, Venezuela but carries dual nationality. The second son of Ballerina dancer Belen Lobo and Rodolfo Izaguirre an ex-director of the Venezuelan National Cinematography. He himself has followed in his father's footsteps and become a screenplay writer and television host. His first novel was written when he was 26 years old but it was not until his break-through novel written in 2007 'Villa Diamante' that the writer community acknowledged his work.

4. Francisco Bosch (1982)

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Born in Valencia on the 5th of October 1982. He is a Spanish actor recommended by a director to play alongside Collin Farrel in the 2004  Epic movie 'Alexander.' He is also a trained dancer and was part of the English National Ballet company.

5. Jesus Vasquez Martinez (1965)

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Attended veterinary school before he moved to Madrid. There he worked as a model and television presenter while he finished his undergraduate degree. I guess that he loved being in front of the camera more than taking care of cats and dogs - and for that we thank him.

6. Paco Vidarte (1970)

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A philosopher, writer, and LGBT activitist born in Madrid. He went to the Universidad Pontificia Comillas (UPC) in Madrid where he studied Psychoanalysis.  He was an active member of the gay movement in the mid-90s which led to his leadership of the philosophers of the Spanish LGBT. Vidarte was the first person to discuss "Teoría Queer" (Queer Theory) in a Spanish university and published an impressive, internationally renowned number of articles and books about J. Dérrida as well as LGTB-theories. He was a professor at UNED-university until he died in Madrid in 2008, by a malignant form of lymphatic cancer and HIV.

7. Pedro Marin (1961)

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This 80s Spanish pop sensation came out of the closet in 2004, where during an interview with Jordi Gonzalez admitted to being bixesual. With a dozen number one singles i.e. Laura, Dos enamorados, aire, etc, he decided to make a come-back in 2006 with the album Pulpo Negro which was well received and encouraged a follow-up album in 2007 (which, it is worth mentioning, was the first album in many years that consisted of original numbers). This year he brought out a five songs EP called 'Santo, Sal a Bailar.'

8. Pedro Zerolo (1960)

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Another Spaniard that was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Pedro Zerolo is a Spanish lawyer and politician and currently the Secretary for Social Movements and Relations of the Federal Executive Committe of the PSOE and the councilman of Madrid. If that resume wasn't impressive enough, he is also a trustee of the Fundacion IDEAS (a Spanish Socialist Party's think tank). He studied at the University of La Laguna where he obtained his undergraduate degree before moving to Madrid to further his education in Comparative Law. During his studies he collaborated with Catholic priest Enrique de Castro in a project that helped Madrid's poor neighbourhoods. In 1992, he became a legal consultant for the Gay Collective of Madrid, COGAM and in late 1993, he was elected president of the organization. These weren't the only organizations he provided legal assistance to; Federacion Estatal de Gays y Lesbiana (1998) and a board of directors member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association. He also addressed the Spanish Congress of Deputies during the civil partnerships debate and fought against discrimination against the gay community in Spain. In 2001 and 2003 he participated in negotiations between the opposition and the government deputies over five modifications to the Spanish Civil Code relating to same-sex marriage. It was in this year that he was asked to join the Madrid City Council socialist list and was elected as a councillor and reelected in the 2007 elections.

9. Fernando Grande-Marlaska

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His life was threatened by a terrorist organization. He has been visible in LGBT campaigns. And he has been in charge of the most important court cases of airplane crashes in recent year - that of the Yak-42 crash that cost 62 military men returning from Afghanistan their lives. He has been one of the most important and talked-about judges in Spain. He was quoted by the Ambiente Online Magazine; 'It's possible to be openly gay and work in any chosen field.'

10. Nacho Duato (1957)

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Or Juan Ignacio Duato Bárcia, is a modern ballet dancer and choreographer from Valencia who was selected by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Education as the artistic director of the National Spanish Dance Company in June 1990 and then as then was appointed as the artistic director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre on July 2010. I am sure that the list of Spanish Gay Celebrities is longer than the one provided here. Do you think of any other famous gay from Spain ? Let us know in the comments below !

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