Gymnast Pedro Cabañas and dancer Óscar Trejo have been in a relationship for four years. Alongside compatriots such as water polo player Víctor Gutiérrez and skater Javier Raya, they represent the new generation of sportsmen in Spain — men who are comfortable in being authentic about their sexuality.
Pedro Cabañas is originally from Calamonte but now lives in Barcelona. He’s 25 years old, and has been focusing on aerobic gymnastics since 2011. A member of the Spanish gymnastics team, Cabañas has won bronze at the European Games in 2015, and a silver medal at the European Championships in 2017. In June 2018 he competed at the World Championship in Portugal, and was ranked eighth in aerodance. His next major competition is the European Games in Belarus in 2019.
Óscar Trejo is from Almendralejo. He’s 24 years old, and has been competing as a ballroom dancer since he was a child. His current dance partner is Sara Pérez. At the 2018 European Championship, Trejo and Pérez were crowned as runners-up in artistic dance, retro, and cha-cha-chá. In the Spanish Championship they were placed third in tango, waltz, pasodoble, and retro.
Pedro and Óscar sat down with Pablo Carrasco de Juanas of Shangay to talk about their careers and their relationship.
Why do you think there are still elite sports in which there seems to be no visible LGBT athletes?
Pedro: If you’re hiding something, then you’re not being yourself. When I told my teammates at gymnastics, everyone already knew. They said — ‘We were waiting for you to tell us.’
Óscar: It seems to be more difficult if you’re a footballer, but there shouldn’t be any problem there either. I told everyone when I was 14 — my mother first, and then my friends. I didn’t want to wait any longer. I wish gay football players had the same freedom as other athletes.
Have you ever experienced any homophobia or discrimination in your sport?
Óscar: When I was younger I heard a few comments, there were times when I thought about not dancing anymore. But eventually, you just don’t care. I became very strong, nothing bothers me now.
What about any fem-shaming?
Pedro: If you didn’t know anything about our sports, at first impression it might seem like they’re not very masculine, but that’s just demonstrating your ignorance.
Are there other LGBT athletes that have inspired you?
Pedro: Víctor Gutiérrez, Javier Raya, Tom Daley, Jason Collins, and Ian Thorpe have all been important role models for us. But there’s also a lot of other elite athletes who are out of the closet but not as well-known because they haven’t been featured in the media.
Óscar: You don’t have to advertise your sexuality on social media, but it’s important to feel free to just be yourself — that means not hiding your sexuality.
Four years of love
How did you meet?
Óscar: Through Instagram. I saw a photo of him and I sent him a direct message to say hello.
Pedro: From there, we started talking. We’d grown up in the same region.
Óscar: Soon after we started chatted he had to go back home to visit his family, so we met up almost straight away.
What is it about each other that you like the most?
Óscar: I love watching him compete — to see him so excited and nervous. It means so much because I know all of the sacrifices he’s making for his sport.
Pedro: I’m very shy and quiet. What struck me most about Óscar is that he’s very open. He always took the initiative and always made me laugh — that’s what hooked me the most.
How do you juggle your relationship with living in different parts of the country, and travelling so much with your sport?
Óscar: We try to see each other once a month, for a week or a weekend.
Pedro: When we first met we could only see each other every three months, when I took vacations.
What’s been the most difficult thing that you’ve encountered so far in your relationship?
Óscar: Distance. That’s the most difficult thing.
Pedro: Absolutely, the distance between us is the worst thing. However, it does make every time that we see each other really special.
Pedro Cabañas — Gymnast
How did you get involved in gymnastics?
I’ve been learning gymnastics since I was 11 years old. When I was 18, I went to study in the High Performance Centre of Barcelona. But then I was injured, they didn’t renew the scholarship, and I stopped being part of the artistic gymnastics selection program.
I didn’t know what to do with my life and I wanted to throw it all. But my coach, Noemi Irurtia, suggested that I try aerobic gymnastics.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
The Baku medal. As a team we trained for almost a year for that competition — a total sacrifice, we trained day in and day out. I also had to move to Valencia, because I was the only member of the team living in Barcelona. We had four coaches at each training session, and it was repeat, repeat, repeat until they saw failures. I have cried with joy when we won that medal. We achieved that with a lot of work and a lot of sweat.
What are your goals now?
I’ve just come from the World Cup in Portugal, and now I’m on vacation. The next big milestone is the European Championship in 2019, then it will be the World Cup in Bulgaria.
Óscar Trejo — Dancer
What are the events that you compete in?
The Retro Dance European Championship is the most important competition for my category of ballroom dancing — it’s held in Fuengirola. We were surprised to win so many prizes in this recent championship — we didn’t get to rehears as much as we wanted, but somehow our heads were in the right space. Our dance school won 36 prizes, so we had a good competition.
What are some of your professional goals?
I want to perform, doing shows as a dancer. Maybe Lanzarote is my next destination. Programs like Dancing With The Stars are giving ballroom dancing some good profile at the moment.
Is there life after your sporting careers?
Óscar: At the moment, I can’t make a living from being a professional dancer, so I have to work as well. My dance partner and I have our own dance school in Almendralejo — we have students who compete, but we also dedicate ourselves to teaching people who want to learn to dance.
Pedro: It’s the same for me. Unless you’re very famous, or if you’ve won Olympic medals, it’s hard to make a living as a gymnast. I’ve been working as a coach for children and in schools as an extracurricular teacher. But I’d like to do is to set up a company to make jerseys and dance suits.
Original reporting by Pablo Carrasco de Juanas. Republished with permission of Shangay.
We want to hear your opinion
I caught up with my LinkedIn buddy Peter to talk about his first date.
Can you remember your first date with a guy?
My fist date was with a soldier I was 17 he was 27.
I’d gone to a gay bar. You had to be 18 to get in, but I’d convinced the doorman that I was 18.
I met the soldier in the bar. He took me back to the barracks. He stripped me off, got me to stand up against his bedroom wall, then forced his big cock into my tight ass. He then pumped away until he shot all his spunk into me.
When you’re dating, how do you typically meet guys?
Generally at pubs, or the gym.
What’s your idea of a perfect date?
A lovely day out with a stranger, ending up in hot sex.
For a young guy who was just starting to explore dating in the gay world, what advice or guidance would you give them?
Take it slowly. Go with a friend. Only do what you feel happy with.
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