Part of why some stars become gay icons — Lola Flores’ funeral plans

 

An excerpt from a 1980s interview with Lola Flores by Lauren Postiga where she discusses her funeral arrangements. I found it amusing and rather touching, partly for its acknowledgement and accommodation of a gay audience at a time where it wouldn’t have been a given, certainly not publicly: ”I’d like to die in Madrid. Then after the embalming I’d like to be taken to the theatre of my successes, the Calderón in Madrid. I’d like to be left in the lobby for quite some time so that all the gay boys who love me very much and all the other people who also love me very much and are great admirers of my art, so that all may have a look, forming a little orderly queue so that all can see.  ‘Poor Lola’, they’ll say, ‘how sad. And she was so amusing.’ I know exactly what they’ll say. And after being a little while at the Calderon theatre, I’d like to be taken to Seville with a great orchestra behind me like they used to have in the Alameda playing ‘La zarzamora’.

This is why some people are gay icons and some not: acknowledgment of appreciation, inclusiveness in ritual, drama, theatre, and a big funeral send-off, like in Imitation of Life, but, since she’s a Spanish gay icon, playing coplas instead of spirituals.

José Arroyo

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