When I was 20 years old, I arrived to Paris.
I came from a provincial Spanish city named Granada, where I studied 8 years in an only girls catholic school, another city called Pamplona where I spend one year at Medicine University and another year in Vichy learning french at the Cavilam.
Even if I had been with many different nationalities from a young age, like in the Summers at Hurtwood House in Surrey, people were all from different countries but with a similar mentality.
So, when I arrived to Paris to study fashion design at L’Atelier Fleuri-Delaporte, that was the first time I had gay friends.
I was so innocent, I knew nothing about nothing.
I remember being already sleeping and having a call from my best friend at the time saying: “ Wake up, let’s go to a party”. At the time I had contact lenses, so I put my glasses on, a cute dress like I was going to a wedding or something and jumped into a cab.
He took me to Les Bain Douches, Le Cirque, Le Queen…
One night I told him.: “Ricardo, I have never seen so many gorgeous men together, and I am the only girl…”.
He look at me and said “ Girl!!! this is a gay club!”.
It was so funny.
I remember that in a time when I was struggling with self image, as I explained in the previous post, he always told me how pretty I was. He went shopping for me and got me boots and edgy clothes. I still have the Boots! I guess they are Collector Yohji Yamamoto now.
Years ago when he passed, I looked for a drawing he had dedicated to me, and since then it is on my wall at The Studio, as a reminder that I was still able to reach my dreams. We had lost contact because I left Paris and life separates people sometimes, but he connects me to those happy days when there was an absolute freedom and joy about being gay in European cities.
What is going on?.
Are we going backwards?.
A couple of years ago I made the Love is Love pattern.
That is a sentence that I used to say myself: el amor es amor.
I always said that.
This pattern was inspired by an anecdote that happened when my niece was a little girl and I helped my sister to tell her a bedtime story.
My sister and I, we both had a teddy Bear in our hands, and we were inventing a tale. In the end, the two bears married each other, and we had the first gay marriage of teddy bears in History.
I remembered that a couple of years ago and made this pattern.
Of course this year, it was turned into a Silk Scarf.
The fact that these are teddy bears, is a way for me to express my approach to diversity in a sweet, tender, innocent way, as all children are.
I get a little lost with the new terms, labels, flags etc…
For me, is about being who you are with freedom and loving who you want with freedom. No politics no religion involved. At acting school when asked to play a scene with a kiss, I was as shy with a girl as with a boy, not more not less. It was the same for me. I never felt there was any problem with that.
The thing that I have changed totally this year, is that I used to have the same approach that I had in my 20’s.
Like it is no big deal, is something natural.
But, seeing how gay people is again experiencing fear about being who they are, makes me realize that yes, it is necessary to say it loud: LOVE IS LOVE.
It has to be repeated for as long as there will be young kids thinking they are doing something wrong by being who they are.
I wish everyone could experience the same joy and freedom I had in Paris when we all were together and loved who we wanted and there was no fear at all being openly gay.
Now you know why this scarf is important for me in so many levels.
And will always be.
Someone said this about George Sand: "He is neither a man nor a woman, but a thinking being" and I have always liked to define myself that way.