LGBT+ Spanish matador urged to quit killing bulls

Turn your back on the oppressive, bloody bullfighting industry

London – 25 March 2024


Mario Alcalde has come out as Spain’s first openly LGBTQ+ matador. In response, animal rights ally Peter Tatchell has sent a letter to Alcalde imploring the bullfighter to see the obvious parallels between the oppression of LGBTQ+ people and that of animals – and take a stand against the barbaric cruelty inherent in the bullfighting industry.

Peter Tatchell has long argued that “animal rights and LGBTQ+ rights are two aspects of the same cause: to end harm and suffering.”

Peter Tatchell’s letter to Mario Alcade reads:

“Bullfighting is the ritualised killing of innocent animals, who have no choice but to enter the ring. They stand no chance of coming out alive. It is the killing of living, feeling beings for entertainment and pleasure. The bull often suffers a slow agonising death,” wrote Tatchell in his Open Letter to Mario Alcalde.

“Coming out, as you have done in a macho culture like bullfighting, is undoubtedly brave. I thank you for that. But true courage lies in standing up for what is right, which means defending the victims of violence – and in the bullring, there’s only one victim: the bull.

“Our LGBTQ+ community has long fought against oppression and injustice. … Not only is torturing animals to death in a bullring morally indefensible, it also flies in the face of the altruistic values we stand for as a community.”

“Tradition is no excuse for cruelty. If it were, LGBTQ+ people would still be executed, jailed and incarcerated in mental institutions.

“So I implore you, Mario, to turn your back on the oppressive, bloody bullfighting industry and make a historic name for yourself as the compassionate matador who stood up and spoke out against animal cruelty. I ask you to use your platform to spread love and kindness for all species – humans and other animals,” wrote Tatchell.

Every year, thousands of bulls are tormented and slaughtered in bullrings around the world. They are repeatedly speared and stabbed until – suffering from painful injuries and exhausted from blood loss – they are killed by a sword to the heart or a knife to the spine. Matadors may even cut off bulls’ ears or tails as trophies, sometimes while the animal is still conscious.

Peter Tatchell supports People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It organised his Open Letter and is encouraging the Spanish public to support the newly launched #NoEsMiCultura Popular Legislative Initiative, spearheaded by animal activists in Spain, which aims to repeal the law that designates bullfighting as “cultural heritage” and seeks to empower Spanish communities to prohibit this cruel blood sport.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – opposes animal cruelty and speciesism, with its human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, or Instagram.