Raquel García Hermida-van der Walle

Born and raised in Madrid, I came of age at roughly the same time as the LHTBI-rights movement in Spain. My friends and I would go out in Chueca and participate in the Pride celebrations. The passing of the ‘gay marriage’ law felt like the huge milestone it was. I never knew any better than a blooming LHTBI community who increasingly dared to show themselves, openly and without shame. Not being naïve, of course I knew this was not the case everywhere, not in Spain, and certainly not in Europe. I was directly confronted with this knowledge when I moved to a small village in Friesland and I realized that, with very few exceptions, questions of sexual and gender identity were handled and experienced in a very different way. As proud signatory of the Coming Out Pledge, I commit myself to taking all necessary steps to ensure that LHTBI’s are seen, recognized and equally treated everywhere in the European Union and beyond, from the largest metropoli to the smallest village.