Past event
Jun 19 - Jul 2, 2023

Exhibition on influential LGTBIQ+ figures

Discover the influential figures who have shaped the history of LGTBIQ+

Throughout history, influential figures have emerged who have left an indelible mark on the LGTBIQ+ community and the world. Courageous and passionate individuals who have challenged social norms, fought for equality and championed the rights of queer people around the world. Their courage and determination have paved the way for acceptance and diversity, making them fundamental pillars in the history of the LGTBIQ+ movement.

Therefore, from 19 June to 25 June at the Alcampo gallery and from 26 June to 02 July at IKEA Jerez there will be an exhibition of some of the characters of the LGTBIQ+ community. Here is some information about their mark on the world:

Gilbert Baker (1951-2017)

He was the creator of the rainbow flag as a symbol of the LGTBIQ+ community. At the age of 19 he enlisted in the US Army and was transferred to San Francisco, where the LGTBIQ+ movement was gaining momentum. He learned to sew and put that skill to work for the cause, creating banners for demonstrations. It was then that she came into contact with Harvey Mil, who in 1978 commissioned her to create a symbol to represent the entire collective. Legend has it that he was inspired by the song Over the rainbow performed in The Wizard of Oz by Judy Garland (much loved by the gay public) to design the rainbow flag, which he waved for the first time in 1978. Baker died of coronary heart disease in March 2017.

Pedro Zerolo (1960-2015)

One of the leading figures of LGTBIQ+ activism in Spain. He was one of the architects of the law on equal marriage that in 2005 placed the country among the most advanced in the world in LGTBIQ+ matters. He studied law in Tenerife, after which he worked in Madrid as legal advisor to COGAM first and then to the FELGT (later FELGTB). He chaired both organisations. From 2003 he was a PSOE councillor on the Madrid City Council. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2015. A few weeks later, the Madrid City Council approved changing the name of Vázquez de Mella square to Pedro Zerolo square.

Federico García Lorca (1898-1936)

He was a Spanish poet, playwright and prose writer. A member of the Generation of '27, he was the most influential and popular poet in 20th century Spanish literature, and as a playwright he is considered one of the greatest Spanish playwrights of the 20th century. He was assassinated by the rebel side a month after the coup d'état that started the Civil War. After decades of ignoring Federico García Lorca's homosexuality in all analyses of his work, for years now his LGTBIQ+ facet has been increasingly vindicated. The poet's sexual orientation, now undisputed, permeates his plays and poetry.

Alan Turing (1912-1954)

He was a mathematician who is often credited with laying the foundations of artificial intelligence and computer science. He also played an important role in World War II, helping to crack several German codes. In the 1950s, he confessed to police to having homosexual relations with another man and was arrested for gross indecency. He was subsequently subjected to chemical castration. In 1954, he died of cyanide poisoning.

He received a posthumous royal pardon in 2013 and three years later, the UK government announced that it would posthumously pardon other men convicted of abolished sexual offences, in what was dubbed the "Turing Law".

Billie Jean King (1943)

One of the most famous names in professional tennis. She won 39 Grand Slam titles from 1966 to 1975. She also defeated Bobby Riggs in the famous match known as the "Battle of the Sexes". But in 1981, it was published that King was a lesbian and her publicists advised her to deny the claim. She nevertheless confirmed it, thus becoming the first openly homosexual sportswoman.

Lili Elbe (1882-1931)

She is considered the first trans person, or at least the first who dared to come out as she was. Born Einar Mogens Wegener, she is recognised as the first to undergo a gender reassignment procedure.

She tried to break the taboos set by society by posing in women's clothes for her wife Gerda Wegener, an illustrator. She suffered greatly from living in a time when transgender people were considered perverted or mentally ill. This is reflected in the film about her life, The Danish Girl. She died at the age of 49 during an operation to implant her uterus, which she underwent in order to be able to have children.

Isabel Álvarez de Toledo y Maura (1936-2008)

Known by the nickname of the Red Duchess, she was not born in Andalusia but in Estoril in 1936. Even so, she lived all her life in Sanlúcar de Barrameda and shared 20 years of her life in a loving relationship with Liliane Dahlmann. The Red Duchess was a point of reference for the LGTBIQ+ collective and the Spanish left.

Eduardo Mendicutti (1948)

Born in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz) in 1948, he is one of the leading exponents of LGTBIQ+ literature in Spain. His first published novel, Una mala noche la tiene cualquiera (1982), follows a transsexual girl from Sanlúcar de Barrameda on the night of the coup d'état in 1981. Since then, with 18 novels published and 4 short stories, he has maintained his commitment to giving a voice to the collective through his pen.

Eleno de Céspedes (1545)

He was the first Andalusian transsexual man of whom there are historical records. Born in Alhama de Granada in 1545 and with an unknown date of death, he earned his living as a surgeon, performing one of the first sex reassignment surgeries on himself. He even passed a genital examination and married a woman, although he was later discovered and imprisoned. Eleno was also mulatto, so we have an example of trans visibility of a racialised person in the 16th century.

In addition, we leave you with a recommendation of seven films that have contributed to the fight for LGTBIQ+ rights.

  • Víctima (1961)

  • Beautiful Thing (1996)

  • Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

  • Brokeback Mountain (2005)

  • La vida de Adèle (2013)

  • Out in the Dark (2013)

  • Identidad borrada (2018)