The slogan “The Greatest pride” represents the struggle of people over sixty who have experienced discrimination for the fact of loving, thinking and being different from the majority. This experience of resilient people formed a collective with the acronym LGTBIQ+ that has faced the violence received by raising the banner of freedom, respect and diversity. Àlex Gorina, journalist and film critic, instigated the conversation in the “Patio de los Naranjos” (Orange Tree Courtyard) of the Palau de la Generalitat, accompanied by President Pere Aragonès and Tania Verge, councillor, as well as a group of great people who bore witness to this generation of over sixty who are our greatest pride. Organisations represented, such as the “Fundació Enllaç”, which for fifteen years has been defending the rights and dignity of elderly people, especially at times of vulnerability such as admission to a nursing home.
The memory of the LGTBIQ+ collective is one, which prompts revulsion against the wave of conservatism and fascism that is looming. The recovery, preservation and maintenance of the memory of the struggles is formalised through archives and public spaces where monuments and memorials embody places of conscience where the flame of the struggle is kept alight. Sitges in the collective imagination symbolises the universal paradise, the place where many LGTBIQ+ people and their allies dream of happening everywhere. Sitges is a model of how the world can become.
Civil rights and human rights are universal and we must defend them in the face of the aggressions perpetrated by institutions. As a example, is the aggravation caused to Italian lesbian mothers who have seen their freedoms and rights curtailed must make us alert and ready to stand up to say no, no to more aggressions against our way of life and our understanding of families.
Sitges has become a residential ideal for LGTBIQ+ people from all over the world. It is seen as a emblematic place for the collective. A small town where it is easy to show that a diverse world is possible, where shaking hands with your loved one is not dangerous, a safe territory. A pioneering town in Queer visibility, where extravagance or that which is anomalous is integrated into the way of being Sitgetans is well understood. Rusiñol and his modernist friends planted the seed of this oddity, this strange flower that grew with the visits of Lorca and Dalí to the magazine L’Amic de les Arts. The seedling became a garden with Pepito Zamora, who during Franco’s dictatorship walked his ambiguity alongside José Constantinides, El Griego. Also Antonio Amaya’s choice of Sitges as his place of residence and the fact that he spent the last years of his life in the hospital of Sant Joan Baptista, the home for the elderly in Sitges.
And the greatest pride of all is the acceptance of the fact that Sitges is diverse, the welcoming of outsiders, the assumption of being a historic place for tourism, the admission of what Sitges has meant for LGTBIQ+ people, what it is and what it can become. The issue of the elderly is of particular concern and at the “Associació Colors Sitges Link” we are working on a programme aimed at people over seventy, with the collaboration of the Fundació La Caixa, to continue creating community and people, solidarity and respect. In defence of human rights and the memory of all those people who left their decisive mark on the Sitges seafront promenade forever.
The bench with the Rainbow colours is an example of the visibility of our collective and the values it represents: diversity, dignity and pride in belonging to a group that was discriminated against and persecuted until together we overcame hatred and opprobrium. On 15 September 2022 we started a special project at CSL for the elderly people of the collective living in Sitges. The project, Gente Mayor sin Armarios, with the help of a social worker and a psychologist, aims to give emotional and healing support to elderly people who have been left alone and have no one.