What’s More Controversial: Advertising on a Matador’s Cape? Or Advertising a Gay Product?


These are hard times, so we can understand why Joselito Ortega, a Spanish matador, is willing to break with bull fighting code and let sponsors place their ads on his cape. And maybe even his peers could get on board with the idea, knowing it’ll bring in a few extra bucks. But Ortega didn’t sign a deal with Coca-Cola or Coors Light. He signed with Gay Up, an energy drink aimed at homos. Cue the machismo backlash!

In big, red cursive letters, Gay Up’s name will be embroidered on Ortega’s cape. To be sure, it’s not unusual for matadors to strike endorsement deals in Spain and score their own television commercials. But these folks are supposed to be manly men, not fairy fighters! It helps, then, that Ortega isn’t exactly a famous matador. Though he’s about to be.

“I am a bullfighter. That is not going to change,” he says. “I am going to go out into the ring as I have done until now, to risk my life, and the seven goring wounds on my body prove that. If the gay community welcomes me as an image or a symbol, that is fine.”

Oh sweetie, it’s more than fine.

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  • Jack

    No, Queerty. It’s not fine. This is a depraved individual who publically torments and tortures animals to death for entertainment. I don’t welcome him representing me as ‘an image or a symbol’ any more than I would a serial child-killer. He deserves the same public condemnation Michael Vick rightly received.

    Let’s hope the 8th goring will be his last.

  • ...

    Where can you buy this drink?

  • Richard Grabman

    Since when are gay and matador (or even gay and “macho” — an ill-defined term) exclusive terms. While the modern concept of gay has only been around since the late 19th century (and in the Hispanic world since about the 1920s), there have been matadors who prefered the company of their own gender as long as there have been matadors. Come to think of it, it’s probably the first professional sport to admit openly gay atheletes… and women for that matter… as equals.

    One of the few English language writers who knew anything about tauromachia, Ernest Hemingway, wrote a short story about a gay matador, “The Mother of the Queen.”. The story itself is homophobic, but Hemingway at least got it right that there was nothing particularly unusual about a gay matador.

    As it is, I’ve seen no mention of the “gay issue” in any of Spanish language press… only in the English-language ones.

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