“THE FIRST GAY REFEREE IN SPAIN”.
The first Spanish referee who has declared himself openly gay, Jesus Tomillero, has decided to tell his story in a book to help other homosexuals to lose the fear of coming out of the closet in the football world.
In an interview with Efe, he expresses his desire to end the “persecution” suffered by the lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual and intersex group (LGTBI) in football and in sports.
“Flying without barriers” is the title of the work, published by Editorial Leibros, which will be presented at the Lé Bookstore in Madrid on 7 September.
Written by the young author Fifth Capricorn, the book reviews the life of Tomillero, from birth to the present, the death of his father at age 3, his mother’s decision to leave him in a juvenile center, how made public his sexual orientation and the reactions he aroused in the world of sport and politics.
“Despite all the obstacles I have had in my life I continue to fight for what I want, which is to arbitrate and someday reach the First Division,” confesses Tomillero, 22, born in La Linea de la Concepción (Cadiz) .
To date, he says he still does not have the support of the Spanish and Andalusian federations of arbitration and continues to receive death threats through social networks.
“Maybe it has been without evil, but I have suffered harassment from my stepbrothers and my schoolmates. At school, I wanted to play football and they would not let me, so I was thrown aside and then, I was always with the girls, “he explains.
Currently, he works in the reception of a hostel in Algeciras and provides friendly matches waiting to be accepted in the League of Gibraltar due to the “impediments” he is finding in Spain to return to arbitration.
He recalls that in 2015, when a photograph was uploaded with a kiss with his partner, David, in social networks, started threats and insults by saying that he was “queer” and “could not be in football.”
He decided to stop arbitrating in May 2016 for attacks on the playing fields, where he heard things like “where he left his thong” or “went to scrub his house.”
Last year he founded the Red Direct association to combat homophobia in sport through school talks and activities to promote social inclusion.
“It is unfortunate that in the XXI century there is no explicit mention of LGT-biphobia in the Law against violence in sport,” says Tomillero, who claims that insults due to sexual orientation or gender identity in football considered as a form of intolerance as serious as racism or xenophobia.
“There is a long way to go to stop homophobia in football, if the government and the federations do nothing to end this collective harassment and injustices that are occurring on the playing fields,” he says.
Recalling that a person who directed homophobic insults at a party was fined 50 euros, he asks “what damage does this amount in the pocket of that person.”
Among other measures, it calls for an increase in sanctions for these types of attacks, as well as the prohibition of entry to sports facilities for these people and the suspension of football matches.
“If the federations and the government do not promote changes in the laws, we will continue to have macho and intolerant football, with aggressions, insults and vexations on all football fields,” he points out.