Long rumored to be gay due to his flamboyant personna and dramatic stage antics, the singer sat down with Luis Sánchez-Mellado of the Spanish daily newspaper El País and briefly addressed some of the rumors. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
El País: Do you know that there is speculation regarding your sexual orientation?Update: Raphael is also the cover boy of this month's issue of ZERO (the Spanish gay magazine that could be compared to Out magazine in the US, except ZERO is better).
Raphael: Once upon a time they called me a faggot and that remains. I know very well who I am, it's also well known at my home, period.
El País: You are also a gay icon.
Raphael: I know. It feeds my vanity. Usually they are people with an exceptional, sensible and special sense of what art is. They are not just anybody. To be liked by tem is a pointin my favor, conquered ground.
In excerpts quoted elsewhere from an article titled "Raphael shows his face" he addresses, once again, rumors that he is gay.
"None of those rumors can affect me," he says, "Additionally, each one is who he has to be, and that's well done. There isn't a reason to feel ashamed of anything. But, please! I am not in that respect."
On the recognition of same-sex partnerships...
"All those things have to be legalized. Cal it however you want to call it: Marriage, an union, whatever it is. I am totally in agreement. I have always been."
Raphael has been married to a woman since 1972 and has raised three children. Here he is performing one of his biggest hits, "Yo Soy Aquel", as Spain's 1966 entry into the Eurovision contest.