At the age of twenty-four, I knew that I liked women. I didn’t come out of the closet because I’d never been in, I just realized late and when the time came my life was turned upside down. I recognized myself, I loved myself because I had never loved myself, I threw away a whole library of manuals, guides, standards and diagrams that never belonged to me. And fell in love. I fell in love an average of ten times a week, above my heart capacity and the reality of space-time. I entered the second adolescence, without air, without sleep and without hunger, with complete control of sighs and outbursts, with an insane desire to love and to let everyone know that I could touch the sky with my own hands. was touching.
The first time I kissed a girl I was living in Paris. It was a night, in the street, except at one restaurant, which I will never forget as we all keep a map of the places we were able to get very close at the end. I remember everything, but I forgot that I was scared that night. It was late and we went to a bar in the Bastille with barely two more tables and which were about to close. In one corner were two men whom I remember as young, I imagine in their thirties, who did not take our eyes off us. There was no lust in his eyes, contempt, something very close to hatred. We dropped half a glass and went out into the street in search of a taxi that was not visible. It didn’t take us long to hear them shouting at us from afar, asking us to stop, insulting us. We ran until we found a square where there were more people and we stuck to the group of boys and girls who welcomed us. Both men disappeared.
I forgot I was scared that night because many years have passed and during this time I have attacked all those who insulted me for walking hand in hand with a girl, all the men I have faced Whose faces have messed up. Seeing us at the disco, I rebuke everyone who has raised their eyebrows when they know I’m a lesbian. And I’ve done it because I feel safe, proud, and together.
But a week earlier, Samuel had been murdered. A week ago a pack killed Samuel for fag and there is no soul on this planet that can deny it without realizing that something is rotting inside. Samuel died a week ago and the pain doesn’t stop to think about it.
It’s not just fear. It is not known that the doors of our houses have been kicked open and they have put their shoes in, knowing that that door no longer closes. Nor is it knowing that people are willing to amputate our limbs because of who we are. Fear, anguish and anger have to be seen that they are legitimizing them. Because a week ago a twenty-four-year-old boy was lynched in Spain for being gay and while his body was still warm, so many masks fell in this country that the struggle with reality weighed us down.
The noise of the speakers is unbearable, but the noise of those who are silent hurts more and makes me wonder if I have lived in confusion all my life. I’m surprised that when I raised my voice for someone who insulted me for loving a woman, I did so with the false security of social support, believing that yelled at me more and more. On the other hand only animals were cutting patterns with knives rusted from the previous hatred. What a big mistake. On the other hand it is not only the extreme right, not only the relic of our country’s darkest history, embedded in the foundation of the system that dirt is confused with cement. On the other hand there is much more. These days we’ve seen columnists leaning against the walls of the bunker, beating their chest with one hand for the murder of a boy and with the other sign articles that question unquestioningly. And from her side, the very close but very quiet, feminists who daily fill the network and attack trans law because they believe it cuts into women’s freedom but they don’t have the decency to speak up when they Let’s kill a boy who may be their son.
Those who speak up and those who remain silent know that the violence that killed Samuel is the same as that which has killed twenty-four women so far this year. It is the same violence that engulfs Fags, Dikes, Travelos, Moors, Sudacas and Shitty Blacks. Behind those eyes lies a deadly well and if one day they throw us into its depths it will be because many spoke and many were silent. It is their lies and their silence that feeds the next pack ready to kill us. Because it will happen again. A boy who breathes and smiles now or a girl who is falling in love for the first time will die on the street because they are leaving us alone.
I know they’ll insult me again, that they’ll rub me at the disco again when I’m with a girl, I know they want to and can go a long way, and knowing that I’m theirs I’ll keep an eye out in the hope that my voice doesn’t tremble too much when I answer. I know that they will attack my friends again, that they will want to break the faces of my friends who are my family and who go out into the street with their pens and the joy of living that neither kills nor expresses Those who do will never have their opinion, nor will those who remain silent. This is the force with which we will respond as many times as necessary, the force with which we will continue to smile on our faces and kiss in front of our noses, with a vibration to hide.
* Carme Riera Sanfeliu is the editor of Random House Literature and Reservoir Books.