Antoni 'Sicus' Carbonell He is a gypsy from the Gràcia neighborhood, a guitarist and singer of the Catalan rumba group Sabor de Gràcia. It was going to be number 30 on the list of Republican Esquerra in the municipal elections of Barcelona. This week he was at the center of criticism for some statements he made about the gays in the program The matí from Barcelona Betevé. He affirmed that "a person who is born gay feels sorry in the sense that she is a woman trapped in the body of a man".
Before that he had invited not to reject homosexuals in the Roma community, but his other statement had more impact. He had been invited to the local television program on the occasion of the International Day of the Gypsy People. "I will never forget that day, it has left me marked", says Sicus in conversation with The vanguard. In the end his name will not appear on the ballots of May 26 and now he apologizes for statements that he considers "unwise" and that he blames "to be ignorant in that matter" The rivals of ERC were quick to censor his statements, to which many others joined.
It is a mistake of lack of information. I am ignorant in the matter. For being the singer of Taste of Grace I do not have to know everything "
"I made some inaccurate statements and I already made a statement apologizing for not having been able to express myself. I have apologized to the entire society, to the LGTBI collective and I will continue to ask for forgiveness as many times as necessary to correct my mistake, "he says with regret.
He explains that gypsies are "taught to respect the elderly and not confine them in geriatrics, to respect others and to be in solidarity with the community." "But they do not teach us sexual orientation, we do not talk about sex. It's like a lack of respect, "he says. "My statements are due to an error of lack of information. I am ignorant in the matter. For being the singer of Sabor de Gracia I do not have to know everything ", is justified.
"In my town there are people who can say that they are part of the LGTBI collective and do not have problems and others, however, can not say so. In my house we have always respected it, "he says. "The gypsy communities are very small. Private life is known and sometimes it is worse what they will say than what happens to you. My generation has not had a sex education outside of heterosexual culture, "he says. "I did not use the correct expression. I know very badly and my heart cries me, "he concludes.
The gay gypsy receives double rejection: for being gay and for being a gypsy. Receive in stereo, as my grandfather used to say "
In addition, he believes that his words "have been misinterpreted" and affirms that "he is not sorry for gay people" and that he referred to the gay gypsy community. "A gypsy gay is not the same as one payo," he clarifies. He considers that the gypsies have "more oppression for what they will say". "The gay gypsy receives double rejection: for being gay and for being a gypsy. Get in stereo, as my grandfather used to say. 'In the age of the grays the Catalan gypsies we received in stereo: by Catalans and gypsies' he told me, "he adds. His grandfather was Manel Giménez Valentí, known as 'l'Oncle Manel'. He founded the Unió Gitana de Gràcia and promoted the Federació d'Associacions Gitanes de Catalunya. For this reason and for turning to the Roma community and the city, he received the Creu de Sant Jordi and the Medal of Honor of Barcelona.
Sicus says he wants to sit down with the LGTBI collective to "inform him" so he can "help" his people and be "a bridge with the Roma community". "In everything I can I will help you now and always," he promises, while assuring that he does not do it because all this has happened but because he believes in respect.
He contrasts his experience in the scenarios to the political arena and ensures that in the past he had never had problems with his statements. "I had never received a rejection like this. I sing rumba, I am loved, I awake joy and feelings in people. And I've been lynched without giving me time to rectify. The networks are going very fast. What I said has had an impact and lynching that I'm not used to, "he confesses. Account that takes several days without being able to take the guitar and with anxiety. "I feel like they accuse me of stealing a million euros and I have not even taken a piece of candy," he says. "I'm afraid to go on stage because I do not know what I'll find. I live of the applause of the public. I hope it does not affect us, "he says of his professional activity.
If I make a mistake I apologize, but I am a preacher of tolerance, respect and equality. Trying to be a homophobe and receiving threats and insults seems excessive to me "
At all times accepts that it was an "error" and ensures that "will admit to the end." "But I'm not homophobic," he remarks. "If I am wrong I apologize, but I am a preacher of tolerance, respect and equality. Trying to be a homophobe and receiving threats and insults seems excessive, "he adds.
"They asked me to leave Catalonia and they called me Nazi when many gypsies died in the concentration camps. The gypsy people have suffered many prejudices, we have been insulted, hit ... we fight for the same rights and freedoms as others, "he says. Although he reveals that he also received the support of a gay gypsy from Madrid, gypsum comforted him.
Details that in addition to having participated in the nineties in a concert of gay and lesbian groups, his group also acted in the Concert for the Llibertat of the Camp Nou, in the prisons of Mas d'Enric, where Carme Forcadell was, and in Lledoners. "We did it for all the prisoners, not just the political prisoners," he says.
I'm not looking for a chair, I'm not an ERC member, I'm independent "
Throughout the conversation, Carbonell insists that he is not a politician and that he is not "looking for a chair". "I am a singer", he repeats several times. "I'm not an ERC member, I'm independent," he says. He explains that after the statements he spoke with the number one of the Republicans in Bacelona, Ernest Maragall, and that understood that separating "was the best" for the party that continues to support. "I have not been expelled, I'm independent," he remarks.
He also specifies why he had joined the Maragall list. "ERC has a historic project for the Roma people, in the past and in the long term. I was on the list because I believe in the project. They want to make a House of the Rumba Museum. I want that behind me other gypsy children who are finishing college can be part of the political world and to enter the Parliament, "he says. "One of my dreams is that a gypsy is president of the Generalitat, I fight for that," he says.