41 years have passed since the first LGBT parade in Spain, which occupied La Rambla on June 26, 1977.

On June 28 Barcelona celebrates traditional Pride Parade, an event that happened in Spain for the first time forty-one years ago. It was in La Rambla, the street that embraced the entire LGBT movement after the death of dictator Francisco Franco.

It was 1977 and the Law of Dangerousness and social Rehabilitation was still in force. That punished homosexuals with fines, jail and/or the internment in psychiatric centers. The death of El Caudillo didn’t mean the end of the repression at that moment. However, two young guys who knew about the 1969 Stonewall riots (catalysts of Pride parades in the US and the rest of the world) created the Front d’Alliberament Gai de Catalunya (FAGC) (Gay Liberation Front of Catalonia). They were Armand de Fluviá and Francesc Francino and would become founders of the LGBT liberation movement in Spain.

“We’re not afraid, we just are”

The FAGC had sent anonymous letters to the Government and had a magazine that was sent from France to the “brave subscribers” who didn’t want to feel alone in the struggle for their liberation. The big moment came a few days after the first democratic elections after the Dictatorship. Up to 4,000 people invaded La Rambla claiming the repeal of the Dangerousness and social Rehabilitation and denouncing what had happened in Stonewall-The New York police used to harass homosexuals, who were also seen as mentally ill. What they found on that June 28 was a massive opposition to that unsustainable situation.

The same rage and desire change expressed in Stonewall was at Barcelona’a main street. From Canaletas to Colón chants like “We’re not queers, we are transsexuals”, “Sexual Amnesty “,” We’re not afraid, we just are ” were heard.  The protest was also joined by feminists, lesbians, communists, bisexuals, libertarians and trade unionists. As Eliseu Picó, one of the founders of the FAGC, recalls “We had to achieve freedom at the same time as everyone”. The FAGC had supported the demonstrations of these minorities and when their turn came, they responded.

primera manifestación lgtb en españa



Coming out of the closet

The parade ended up with police charges, five injured and one detainee. However, the Spanish Government answered. Two years later, in 1979, the articles that penalized the “homosexual acts” disappeared. In 1998 the Catalan law contemplated same-sex couples and in 2005, the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero legalized  gay marriage.

The times have changed very fast but a large part of society has not. According to the Aequalis 2017 Report on Best Practices in LGBT Management, 85% of transgender people in Spain cannot access to a job and 60% of LGBT people suffer some kind of discrimination. Not to mention bullying in schools or professionals who hide who they are for fear of being fired. In fact, Pride Barcelona 2018 claims the rights of LGTBI + refugees. Yet, there’s still a long way and a lot to protest, but it is also time to remember that, forty-one years ago, Barcelona came out of the closet.

primera manifestación lgtb en españa
Fuente: Hipertextual.com