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Spanish politicians slam drag queen's proposed participation in festive parades

Conservatives have argued that her appearance is “distorting” an event aimed at children.

The traditional parade takes place during the eve of the Epiphany, marking the end of the Christmas festivities.
The traditional parade takes place during the eve of the Epiphany, marking the end of the Christmas festivities.
Image: DyD Fotografos/Geisler-Fotopress

CONSERVATIVE POLITICIANS HAVE criticised Madrid city hall for allowing a famous drag queen to take part in an upcoming Epiphany feast parade, arguing it is “distorting” an event aimed at children.

La Prohibida, whose stage name means The Forbidden, will star on one of the floats in the event tomorrow in the working class Puente de Vallecas district in southern Madrid, one of 17 Epiphany feast parades planned for the Spanish capital.

The parades are held each year across Spain on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the coming of three wise men with gifts for Jesus.

Just as with Santa Claus, children write letters to the Magi asking for gifts which are left for them on  6 January, a national holiday in Spain.

The celebration is more popular than Christmas in Spain and in parts of Latin America.

La Prohibida, who sports bright red lipstick and blue hair on her Twitter profile picture, said in a tweet that she would wear teddy pyjamas at the parade but critics have complained that Madrid city hall should respect the parades’ traditional form.

“Epiphany should be respected, just as we would respect any festival of any religion,” said Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, the spokesman for Spain’s ruling conservative Popular Party at Madrid city hall, who opposes the city’s leftist mayor Manuela Carmena.

He accused Carmena, a former Communist Party member, lawyer and anti-Franco activist before the dictator’s death in 1975, of “distorting Christmas”.

The float featuring La Prohibida was proposed by Orgullo Vallekano, a gay rights association based in the Vallecas district, whose local football club, Rayo Vallecano, in 2015 wore rainbow shoelaces during a first division match as part of a campaign against homophobia in football.

The parade will “be respectful of children, of their dreams, and of the character of this festival,” said Fransico Perez Ramos, a city councillor with the leftwing coalition Ahora Madrid which governs the Spanish capital.

La Prohibida said the float aims to defend “diversity and equality” and questioned on Twitter why nobody complained when past parades featured people dressed up as Star Wars characters that have nothing to do with Christmas.

Two years ago the Vallecas district chose a woman to represent one of the three Magi at its Epiphany parade to promote equality.

© – AFP 2018

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