Torremolinos: Where Spain’s gay rights movement began

The walkway outside Mariquita Copas, a hole-in-the-wall bar in Torremolinos’ main «gaybourhood», La Nogalera, glowed blue. The makeshift drinking terrace I was sitting at was surrounded by palm-filled squares in the heart of southern Spain’s Costa del Sol, a few blocks up from the Mediterranean. As I sipped a beer on my first night in town, I surveyed the scene: pedestrians holding shopping bags had stopped to chat; a man and woman sat entwined on a bench; and gay locals clinked cocktail glasses. In the midst of it all was a bearded drag artist, outlandishly tall in knee-length platform boots, leather cap and skin-tight camouflage bodysuit. This, I soon realised, was just another night in Torremolinos