Pride Day is June 28, and with it endless demands and activities accompany both companies and institutions' official agendas. The struggle from within is constant, to the point that it is difficult to create safe spaces for activities. Marymontana Gay Almeria was formed out of this need. This group of friends, all gay, decided to create a province in Almeria that could allow them to have activities with other homosexuals. The movement was born out of six friends, Marcin, Alberto Miguel, Pedro Miguel, Rodrigo, Rodrigo, and Tomas.
Miguel says that a need does not arise out of nothing. "We are the odd one in the group, the family, the gay friend, or sissy." At least once per month, "we can all meet the same person and not feel different." After the obligation of many people living in Spain and Almeria to return home, the project was initiated during the pandemic. It took place just one year and a quarter ago.
After searching for places to socialize that were different from the usual and standardized, like nightclubs and clubs or nightclubs, the idea of creating something healthier in the natural spaces of Almeria was born. The group grew slowly through the use of social media to contact people who shared the same interests. In the end, it became a community. Pedro says that this is a common need, and there are many other ways to meet people in Almeria.
Leisure that is constantly reduced to jack, horse, and king. This is due, among other things, "to the trend in the consumption system", where "if you don't enter the wheel and have no money, you can't enjoy your free time." Marymontana is a non-consumer alternative to leisure. We don't charge anything and are not for profit. We try to make it as affordable as possible. Miguel says that the company was founded in the natural environment, which Miguel said was affected by a pandemic.
Alberto states that the "our philosophy" is to share vehicle and expenses in order to make it easier for everyone to participate. This allows people to meet each other on the trip. It is important that everything is accessible. Rodrigo says that the activities they have done so far were in the natural environment. .
Future plans include "continuing to set up routes and getting acquainted with new places in the provincial," which is the foundation of the association. "We wouldn't know many places we visit and we want the province to be valued."
They also participated in the collection of garbage with other local communities, cleaning beaches along the Almeria coast. On average, 30 people attend these activities. This was all promoted via his Instagram account 'Gaymarymontana,' as well as in a Whatsapp group reaching 80 people. There, the online community is generated. It's the communication channel through which activities are organized, and where participants propose and hold meetings. You can do it all on your own.
They are currently trying to resolve the immediate problem of being legalized as an association. For this, they are waiting for the approval from the Junta de Andalucia. They also don't have a place where they can hold other activities, such as talks, workshops, or presentations. However, sponsorship or subsidy would be necessary to make this happen.
Pedro explains that each founding member "contributes their knowledge" to ensure everything runs smoothly. The one who is an expert on mountain search for the route acts as a guide. The one who controls graphic design is responsible for the publications. Another one manages the networks and reports.
A group that was founded on the need to create safe spaces. Almeria is lacking in homophobic attacks. In fact, there have been numerous homophobic attacks in recent months. This shows that we are being discriminated against and that they continue harassing us. They have a place where they can "be able to develop themselves without judgment or labels." A group of about a dozen people, "when they go to towns, take roads, and stop for a drink, they see the t-shirts with the word "gay" written on them, and we move through the entire province because no one dares to attack us in that context." However, "When we go to bars, you realize how many tables look at us, with their ears to ground," it is still important to create a safe place.
Miguel claims that the situation is not improving and that it is only getting worse. The controversy surrounding the movie 'Lightyear' has been raging incessantly in recent weeks. In which two female characters kiss in a second scene, it is now being censored in many other countries. It makes you wonder, as "we believe it is normalized" but, if it was, it wouldn't appear in any media.
This is because there is an evident current of thought that suggests that as a group, we are an ideology. We are going to teach them to be like ours. "There are many homophobic discourses out there that have not been suppressed or have been made whiter, and they are encouraging hatred toward those who are different from them. It seems like it's us."