King Felipe VI of Spain has become the world’s first monarch to appear on the cover of a gay magazine.
The Spanish head of state appears in a special edition of Ragap, making first high-ranking Spanish official of any kind to appear in an LGBT publication. The issue – published last Friday (January 23) – will be given away at the Madrid International Tourism Fair this week.
The 46-year-old – who has been billed by the publication as “the first Head of State in Spain to listen to the LGBT community” – succeeded to the throne in June 2014 following the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos I. He didn’t pose for the magazine cover, as the picture they used is actually an official royal portrait.
The article reads:
‘[King Felipe] is part of a generation that has lived through the persecution of LGBT people and the hammer-blow of HIV, to the beginning of the first collective movements of activism, Pride marches, the germination of gay culture and tourism with Maspalomas, Torremolinos, Sitges and Chueca, and finally the legalization of gay marriage.
‘Today, Spain is one of the few countries where homosexuality is legal, where civil union and marriage between persons of the same sex are legal, where homosexual couples can adopt children, where you can come out of the closet and served in the armed forces, where there are laws against LGBT discrimination, and transexual people can legally change gender.
‘However, there is still much to do, and Felipe VI faces a great challenge.
‘For the moment, he is off to a good start. The first official reception for the Monarchy, in which their Majesties invited representatives of civil society, marked a turning point in the approach of the King to the campaigners defending LGBT rights: for the first time, a head of state in Spain listened to demands of activists against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.’
Queen Lizzy – you know where to find us…