Mar Cambrollé: “My father beat me when he caught me dressed as a girl”

Mar Cambrollé, to whom social conscience came as standard, he has always fought for the approval of the trans law, the protection for a group that suffers violence and bad weather. Seville, the city where he was born 63 years ago, will put his name to a roundabout at a junction in the South Sector, just where he demanded basic rights for the neighborhood and received blows from the Francoist police.

-When those clubs were you Paco.

-Francisco Jose. I have had many names, but I have always been the same person, with the same social conscience. I have encountered more obstacles along the way than the rest of the people, but the slamming doors and the blows have made me resilient.

-The 70s were not the 2000s.

-The highest price I paid was to live in limbo until I was 19 years old. I shouted with my behavior – not with words – that I was a girl and the world answered me: “You are a fag.” I went from being my father’s right eye – he bragged about me to his friends because at the age of 5 I clearly read – to receiving a beating when he caught me dressed as a girl. And later, I, already super feminine, forced me to eat in the kitchen because it “disgusted her.”

“I’ve been able to turn my beatings into hugs for trans kids”

-Did you ever forgive him?

-I left home at 19, although I kept going to visit my mother and my brothers. In six years he didn’t even want to look at me. Until one day he raised his head and said: “How beautiful you are! Can you give me a kiss?” It was enough to understand that he loved me like a daughter. I have nothing to forgive him for. My father was an executioner, but he was also a victim.

-Thanks to their fight, many minors save a drink.

-I have been able to turn my beatings into hugs for them and the school mobbing, into respectful teaching staff. Today parents know how to differentiate that orientation is ‘what I like’ and identity is ‘who I am’. You know what I’m proudest of though? 80% of trans women in Spain who practiced prostitution on street corners a decade ago are in universities.

“80% of trans women in Spain who practiced prostitution on street corners a decade ago are in universities”

-You yourself practiced prostitution in Barcelona and Milan.

-For 14 years I had a craft stall with my husband, a Galician boy. I paid for an apartment and had my breasts and nose done, but I was in my late 40s and life on the street was very hard. I wanted to set up a shop and, since I had no one to back me up, with what I earned in Barcelona and Milan for three months I was able to open it. It was the time of the Movida, I brought the latest from London for the urban tribes and it went very well for me.

-85% of trans people cannot find a job today.

-The International Labor Organization points to trans people as a group excluded from the labor market, not unemployed. They live a labor ‘apartheid’. Any rule of law should be concerned. Without us there is no equality for everyone.

“We are the only pending subject for democracy to cross the frontier of equality”

-They are “the incarnate verb of dissent”, as he says.

-We have been the most mistreated by totalitarian regimes, but also the most neglected by democracy. We are the only pending subject for democracy to cross the frontier of equality. If our demand is on the political agenda and appears in the speech, it is the result of intense activism.

-Aggressions, however, increase.

-In the networks – especially on Twitter – hate speech circulates and we are equated with crime, saying that we are pedophiles or that we promote surrogacy. Dehumanization is the prelude to aggression. The State must stop them through education and criminalization of behaviors that threaten coexistence.

-Of the rights that the law protects, that of gender self-determination is discussed.

-Self-determination is nothing other than the legal tool that will make it possible for trans people to stop being objects of medicine to be subjects of law.

“Dehumanization in social networks is the prelude to aggression”

-A part of feminism does not see it that way.

-I would remind women who defend transexclusive discourses to review the principle of intersectionality, to put themselves in the shoes of the other oppressed. We cannot fall into the same mistakes as those who have had the privilege of denying us rights. What the trans law requires are employment policies, that dignity be respected in educational and health centers, that didactic material be removed where it is said that transsexuality is a mental disorder.

-Perhaps the children are the sore spot.

– Question about the detransition of gender? The percentage is negligible. On the other hand, the lack of protection of their personality development makes 80% think about suicide, 40% try it and more than 8% succeed.

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-At this point, would Paco be proud of Mar?

-Yes. If I died today I would know that I almost touched utopia with my fingers.

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