Matador Puts Gay Drink Ad on Cape

Spaniard breaks with macho tradition, and how
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2009 2:04 PM CDT
Bullfighter Joselito Ortega poses with the drink 'Gay Up' at his home in Benalmadena, southern Spain, on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009.   (AP Photo/Sergio Torres)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Joselito Ortega is breaking more boundaries than one. The little-known Spanish matador will be advertising his new sponsor on his cape while in the ring, an unheard-of break with tradition. Then there’s the sponsor itself, a club-scene energy drink called (seriously) “Gay Up.” It’s not exactly the kind of thing matadors, the epitome of Spanish machismo, typically hawk.

Ortega isn’t worried about losing his rep. “I am a bullfighter,” Ortega tells the AP. “The seven goring wounds on my body prove that. If the gay community welcomes me as an image or a symbol, that is fine.” But it’s the idea of advertising in the ring, not the sponsor itself, that infuriates Ortega’s critics. “It is like prostituting the cape,” said one TV bullfighting critic.