King Felipe VI of Spain has become the first Spanish head of state to appear on the cover of a gay magazine.
The monarch is featured in a special edition of the bilingual Ragap magazine which was published Friday (23 January) and will be given away at the International Tourism Fair in Madrid.
‘The royal household is aware and approves the monarch to appear on the cover of this magazine, specialized on homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual topics. This progress in La Zarzuela palace is extensively covered inside,’ the publication said.
Felipe became king when his father abdicated in June 2014. During his first week in office, the monarch became the first Spanish head of state to met with LGBTI groups.
The article, titled The Monarch, for diversity, said:
‘[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.’