Wednesday, 3 May 2023, 09:30
The story of Marbella goalkeeper Alberto Lejárraga went viral after he published a photograph of him kissing his boyfriend while celebrating the team’s promotion. Now the football player has released a statement thanking people for all the support and love he has received after giving visibility to the LGTB collective.
It all started when the 28-year-old footballer posted photos on Twitter of the team's promotion to Second RFEF. One of the photos showed him kissing his boyfriend and it didn’t take long for the photo to go viral.
As SUR was able to confirm at the time, it was the first time that the Madrid-born player published a photo with his partner, making him the first gay Spanish men's football player to make his sexuality public. To the couple’s surprise, the photo led to thousands of messages of support from all corners of the earth, thanking the goalkeeper for his courage to show, completely naturally, that love is love.
The goalkeeper issued a statement on Twitter in which, overwhelmed by all the messages of support, he thanked both the people who have spoken out in support of the LGTB collective and the media for treating the subject with respect and neutrality.
Alberto and Rubén now hope that their photo and message can help to other people, as well thank the many others who have made it possible that, today, they can live their love with total naturalness.
"After a few days of being amazed by the reaction of the Tweet I posted celebrating the promotion of Marbella, both Ruben and I would like to thank the enormous signs of affection and appreciation that we have received.
"In the first comments to the tweet, we saw how many people were happy for the sporting successes that the team had achieved, but soon what began to attract attention was the famous photo. A moment of joy in probably the most beautiful moment I have experienced as a football player on a football pitch, where we hugged each other and kissed with all our might. It seemed that it was becoming a symbol of something more. Within minutes we started getting messages from people we knew, from people we didn't know, from people from a thousand places who were touched by the photo.
"And what for us was a photo celebrating and enjoying a great moment showing our love as we do every day, was now seen as that of a footballer, kissing his partner, a boy. And as we said, this is our everyday. At the beginning it was more complicated, but the point where we are now for some time - after a longer process of normalisation than we would have liked and that should take no time at all- is to live our life with total naturalness, with our problems, of course, like any other couple in the world.
"Mainly for that reason, we have wanted to keep ourselves out of the spotlight in the last few days, even though we have received media requests from all over the world. We are surprised, but that's how it is, because our life is what it is and we felt that accepting the requests could change us as a couple and how we are towards others and we don't want to change that.
"We would also like to clarify that the photo is not a statement, but rather a photo of celebration, and in this case we wouldn't say it was of homosexuality either, as our kiss could fit other sexual identities.
In any case, we are very grateful, especially for the awareness work carried out by the media and this is what, in the end, it is all this is about. Although it was not our intention, it has conveyed a message of diversity and naturalness with sensitivity. It is a personal issue demonstrating once again that what should not be news, still is. Perhaps because we are still a long way from it being normalised and the messages you have sent to us can help to make that road shorter.
"Finally, it would be unfair not to remember and highlight how the work of people in the past to give us visibility and to get us to where we are today. And it would also be unfair not to recognise the many other people before us who fought hard to achieve the rights we have today. It’s easy to think that life is easy for many nowadays, but as other people have communicated to us is that it is still difficult to advance in certain areas. And perhaps this is what we can be proud of, that our photo has been seen as a step forward and perhaps a support for other people for whom things still aren’t easy. To those people we send courage, because we believe that the messages we have received are really for all of us.
"WE are infinitely grateful for all the love we have received in the last few days, because as you have told us so many times: long live love!"
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