The lives of others: letter to a fag from the Popular Party
Have they ever called Maroto a faggot as a child? And, if so, do you remember what you felt, Javier? It must be very difficult to be you, to sit every day next to who silences us, who, according to the polls, opposes our existence.
“An apple and a pear cannot give two apples,” said Ana Botella. At that time, she was mayor of Madrid, it was in 2013, just two years before Javier Maroto, current spokesman for the Popular Party in the Senate, married his partner, José Manuel Rodríguez, and the rancidest press in the country made fun of Mariano Rajoy for attending the link and sitting as a guest at the “Céline Dione” table.
Botella’s viral phrase was recovered by Yolanda Díaz this week during her appearance in the plenary session of the Upper House. A session in which Feijóo —that aspiring actor from Os Peares whose career in the capital I passionately follow— was crowned by accusing the Sánchez government of “annoying good people and interfering in the lives of others” by approving the Trans Law. What two fascinating things: good people and the lives of others.
When I meet my old friends, I talk about sex. I say forever, but I imagine I mean my straight friends from before coming out of the closet, from socializing my sexuality. For a long time, I have been something more than “the gay friend” among them, transcending the caricature or trying to. Almost never anything happens and everything flows, like the waters of the river since the beginning of time. Other times, I put them against the ropes. My problems are listened to with the same attention as everyone else’s. There is room for doubts. There is room for learning. Sometimes I speak feminine if I talk about myself. Some of them do the same: they have learned or got used to it, it doesn’t matter. I also do it with my co-workers. I don’t know if it bothers you. I haven’t cared if it bothers me in a long time. I wonder if all this that I am telling, all these daily and minuscule manifestations of freedom and equality, belong for Feijóo to “the lives of others”, to that domestic, intimate place, stained by shame. Something makes me think so. The existence of characters like Javier Maroto makes me sure that, yes, the lives of others must exist: a dirty corner.
The Popular Party builds—now more than ever—custom cabinets for the humiliation of the queer people who are members of its ranks. It is obvious that there are so many ways to experience and manifest our sexuality as people vote in an election, as people live in a country, as children are born. The opposite of good people, Ignacio Escolar wrote recently, are for Feijóo the voters of the left and the nationalists, that is, the parliamentary majority. I would add that the reverse of good people —not necessarily their opposite— is that “life of others”, that which does not go with us, nor should it bother normality, tradition, the safe place that we build based on not question ourselves about the needs of others.
Have they ever called Maroto a faggot as a child? And if they have, do you remember exactly what it feels like, Javier? Have you ever talked to Alberto about it? Do you think that on your wedding day Mariano found it fun to sit with other gentlemen and ladies at the “Céline Dione” table? Would you see it as a joke or would you understand that those diva-named centerpieces were a tribute to so many models of empowered women who have helped us survive? I guess you don’t tell each other those things. That your wedding was a great institutional act for them, pinkwashing. That all of this is part of your private life, of the depraved place where an apple and a pear behave like two apples and try to live as if nothing were wrong, as if there were no parties that promote violence and deny us fundamental rights, that make us invisible, banishing us to form part of “the lives of others”.
In an almost advertising tone, I would dare to say that common sense dictates that, above good people, there is the good of the people. And there, among the people, are the queers of the Popular Party, and also the precarious, proletarian, peripheral queers… (pe, pe, pe…), we are you and me, Javier. There is any member of the LGTB+ collective. In the stone of an insult, in a frivolous laugh, in a stereotype. It must be very difficult to be you, to sit every day next to who silences us, who, according to the polls, opposes our existence.
Right now, in a closed room, in a park, on a crowded street, a child or an adult is moved when they hear “All by myself” for the third time. They understand, despite what the song says, that they are not alone, that there are those who care about the lives of others. Nonetheless. Despite yours and with you. Surely it has happened to you too.