Liberation & Subjugation
Ibiza’s 2019 Gay Pride celebrations and events look to be bigger and better than ever. The Ibiza LGTB Association have planned a programme of events encompassing film, literary, theatre, performance art, cabaret, plenty of parties and the all-important march for the rights of the LGTBIQ+ community on Saturday, June 15.
Ibiza is a very tolerant community in many respects including sexuality. It is wonderful that so many people will have the freedom to express their own sexuality and identity, and do so openly and positively in a way that was not available to previous generations, nor current generations elsewhere in the world.
Even in progressively tolerant societies, some expressions of identity may receive negative or judgemental responses. In this respect Gay Pride events are so important in creating a collective support, so that nobody need feel isolated or excluded.
Among the joy and celebration of sexual liberation this week, we must not forget that Ibiza is home to a group of visible but invisible people for whom choice, freedom of expression, and even notions of identity, are concepts beyond their comprehension. Reports this week of an Ibiza Tripadvisor for Prostitutes, where women are rated for their paid sexual performance, show that our society is not as advanced as we would sometimes like to think. Such an appalling concept.
Ibiza’s sex workers are all around us, visible but invisible. Some small number may have choice, but the vast majority are subjugated and exploited by evil men who prey upon weakness or social need, or simply enslave.
Quite recently we reported on a police operation which found 5 Chinese women held as slaves and forced into prostitution in an Ibiza Town apartment. Slaves, living among us, as neighbours.
Though police action is sometimes taken, I would guesstimate one significant action a year, it seems that the vast majority of prostitution is allowed to continue with tacit acceptance.
Take a walk around Marina Botafoch any night and you will see so many stunning young girls offering sex. Whatever their individual stories, it is doubtful any set off on their journey expecting to be where they find themselves now. Which of us could accept a scenario where passers-by, ‘normal people’, walked past our own daughter forced into prostitution and did nothing to help?
Gay Pride is a wonderful and positive event in Ibiza’s social calendar, but as shown by this tawdry little website this week, we must not forget that whilst we can celebrate liberation for some, we are also home to subjugation for others.