To the outside world, there’s something unsettlingly effete and flamboyant about bullfighting - specifically, the matadors in the ring. Though the average matador probably swims in a pile of nubile groupies like Scrooge McDuck does money, the whole outfit, the flourishes, the whole thing seems… well, for lack of a better term, a little gay. There, we said it.
And while there’s an undeniable, logical brilliance behind putting on that show and trading the suspicions of those with extra-sensitive gaydars for gobs of money and fame, at the end of the day, straight men generally want to be thought of as, y’know… straight. In other words, they probably wouldn’t ordinarily choose to wear a cape that says “GAY UP” on it. Or so you’d think.
Matador Joselito Ortega will be plugging a club-scene energy beverage called Gay Up and have those words embroidered into his cape in large, red cursive letters.
In Spain, matadors are seen by many as the pinnacle of macho, and Ortega’s agreeing to endorse a product geared toward gay men is raising eyebrows.
But Ortega sees no incompatibility.
“I am a bullfighter. That is not going to change. 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,” he told The AP Wednesday. “If the gay community welcomes me as an image or a symbol, that is fine.”
There’s also, of course, the curious notion that gay men can’t be macho and/or can’t fight bulls - they’re not all just helpless prisoners, you know - but we’ll let that slide for just a bit.
The weirdest part of this, though, is two-fold; 1) that the product that breaks the centuries-old ban on advertising on matador capes is a “gay soft drink,” and 2) that Red Bull never thought of this. C’mon! Red Bull! Because of the bull… yeah.
Okay, wait, we changed our minds. The weirdest part is that there’s such a thing as a “gay soft drink.” Really? It’s an energy drink, guys. It’s as stupid as Miracle Whip claiming to be fresh and hip. This is nonsense.
Wait, we changed our minds again. The weirdest part? That in Spain, bullfighting is the “pinnacle of macho.” Really? Look at these guys! We get that Spanish culture isn’t like ours and all, but dancing around a bull and backstabbing it doesn’t strike us as the manliest way you can take out a large animal. In fact, we’d like to offer a suggestion:
It’s hardly as big a production, but it’s efficient. Plus: no capes.