Preface: I am in the process of trying to rewrite the preface historical material for the travel guides, and split it into a separate book. At that point, I want to then go back and do a much better job at doing the travel guide part and history of some of the specific parts of Madrid/Spain as per the original intent of the website. The history part just got overwhelming and hugely disorganized. Doing this requires combing a 189 page document with a 169 page document with a fair bit of overlapping text and information between them. The Franco period has been investigated a bit more in the past three years so is more comprehensive now with stories that were not available even a few years back… but man is this a depressing period. Anyway 189 pages of text now down to 126.
Francoist Spain (1938 – 1975)
The Spanish Civil War ended on 1 April 1939 with reprisals against Republicans and others viewed as threats to the incoming fascist regime. An estimated 30,000 Republican prisoners were soon executed, with some numbers putting that total at closer to 50,000 to 200,000 depending on the counting method used. With half a million refugees in France, both countries urged people to return to Spain or find relatives to stay with elsewhere. A few managed to leave for places like Chile. Around 5,000 Spanish Civil War refugees though would end up in Nazi Germany, dying in the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp. Another 17,000 found themselves in the Miranda de Ebro purification camp.
Franco had been formally recognized as Caudillo of Spain by the by the Junta de Defensa Nacional on 1 October 1936. The 1 April 1939 announcement meant that Falange became the only political party in Spain, and Franco had the most political power of any Spanish leader in centuries as he was not even required to consult his cabinet before enacting new legislation. It was into this situation that the previous generation of Spanish lesbians found themselves and a new generation of lesbians would be born.
Womanhood, briefly defined by both men and women during the Second Republic period, became solely defined by the new patriarchally male administered regime by the end of the Civil War; the new fascist state then set about seeking to control through a variety of measures to impose strict gender roles; anyone who did not fit into traditional gender norms and who expressed any deviance from these state imposed Catholics support sexual norms was treated by both the Church and state as a sexual pervert. Male intellectuals of the day worked to support the repression of women through these norms, developing rationales using used medical and biological sciences, creating anatomy and physiological studies to support their thesis that women were inferior. Much of their work was based on the work of 19th century German phrenologist Franz Joseph Gall that had been translated into Spanish.
The lynchpins of this new regime were misogyny, heteronormativity and the concept of patria, which fixed gender roles intentionally to support strong, conservative male leadership by national agents. Women’s roles were to be in the home, raising children in support of the Spanish nation. This state ideology effectively made women prisoners in their own home, enforced by both Catholic and state-run educational systems that taught young girls few skills beyond keeping a good home for their future families.
National Catholicism was an important element in support of the Francoist government. In this period, the Catholic Church continued to perpetuate the gender norms it had been supporting for over a thousand years. This included the idea that women should be covered up, chaste and virginal, modeling themselves after Mary, the mother of Jesus. Failure to live up to this norm made women, in the eyes of the male run Church, akin to the evil temptresses Eve who led Adam astray in the Garden of Eden. Women could accomplish their destiny by subordinating their sexual desire and autonomy, making themselves effectively into public asexual beings.
Such subordination was critical for avoiding social castigation that could have negative personal, social and economic repercussions. It marked women out as sexual deviants and perverts. Because it is impossible for most women, heterosexual, bisexual or lesbian, to completely sublimate their sexual desire, the state could and did intervene to “assist” women in suppressing their sexual desire. Lesbians were especially challenged because this system required them to express zero sexual desire lest they be marked as opponents to the regime by violating rules on that said accepted female expressions of sexual desire was none.
Fear of homosexuality and a need to support patriarchy led the regime to create carefully curated single sexed only spaces designed to reinforce gender stereotypes based on sex based reproductive rules. This included sex-segregated education, and discouraging women from physical activity like sports. Only some women’s sport was encouraged by the regime, and this was done largely through Sección Feminina. The organization supported a narrow range of sports that allowed women to participate in more feminine attire; athletics was not supported because the masculine apparel required for participants might turn young women into lesbians.
Broader attitudes about lesbians in society mirrored those the regime; when lesbians were considered at all by doctors or male dominated society, they were often thought of as heterosexual women who turned to other women only because the men in their lives could not provide them with sexual satisfaction. Lesbians were also considered by this group to be any woman who challenged state-imposed gender norms; engage to actively in sports, wear a skirt, drink too much or smoke and a woman’s sexuality could be called into question. Psychiatrists of the day reinforced this perception by claiming lesbians existed because of personal failings like of neurosis, narcissism, or immaturity, that such women had mother fixations and view themselves as father figures seeking out other women. None consider congenital or hereditary factors as a cause for female homosexuality.
Lesbians in Francoist Spain were intentionally erased by the state with attempts to make them completely invisible, a situation would continue to remain so even past the Democratic transition period. The regime’s ideology based on gender norms supporting state patria made lesbians, homosexuals and asexuals more generally and anyone who did not fit neatly into a sex-based gender-imposed role meant these people were a threat to the state that needed to be addressed. The existence and visibility of lesbians was particularly problematic because it suggested to other women that they could their own biological reproduction. Cultural invisibility was a result of several other social factors beyond direct regime intervention, but especially because of the automatic assumption that all women were heterosexuals which enabled lesbians to blend into the scenery of the day. With the Franco regime actively removing women from public life in this period, trying to confine women to the home and engaging in far reaching censorship, documenting lesbian history in this period has additional challenges. Institutions that had previously been friendly to the regime also closed, including the Residencia de Señoritas in Madrid in 1939 before re-opening on 15 February 1940 to support Falange’s women’s organization, Sección Femenina. Invisibility also meant an end Spain’s nascent lesbian literary scene, both by lesbians and by men writing about lesbians. It would not reemerge until the transition period in 1975.
The state also tried to erase the memory of many of the members of the Circulo Safico, including Victorina Durán, Margarita Xirgu and Carmen de Burgos. For older lesbians with no profile in the state apparatus as female homosexuals and a new generation of lesbians who remained in Spain during the dictatorship, the state nominally and unintentionally gave them a new space to congregate and form lesbian circles; they did so within Sección Feminina, with single and unmarried women who lived alone or with other women rising to power within the organization, holding these positions on the margins of power.
While Sección Feminina played a huge role in how women behaved in public life in Francoist Spain, Acción Católica played a similarly outsized role in how girls and women were taught to behave in their private and spiritual life. They did this through their own organization, through their publications, magazines and radio shows, and through events they organized. Among other things Acción Católica did was to try to ensure that women were kept ignorant of all things related to sex, reproductive biology and how emotions could be attached to the sexual act. Lesbians exposed to this would have internalized this, learning that acting on their feelings would make them immoral and unpatriotic. If they wanted to do so despite their indoctrination, they had to do so while publicly fitting the profile designed by both groups and keeping that part of themselves hidden.
Franco’s victory brought ended one form of female self-expression that had benefitted lesbians: women’s fashion. The regime shut down a number of fashion outlets, and set about imposing a style of women’s dress that obliterated women’s sexual identities. Women’s ability to express themselves and their sexuality through clothes would not return on a large scale until the 1960s, when the regime started relaxing some norms around women as a result of economic conditions and international influences.
While the start of the Franco era saw a political and legal return to repressive gender norms, one of the most pressing issues for lesbians was the reduced legal status of women in general. One law of particular concern was the 23 September 1939 repeal of the divorce law, which also retroactively canceled any divorces granted by the courts during the Second Spanish Republic. This law, and others like it, effectively made women prisoners in their own homes with their ability to move outside it defined by male relatives.
The 1933 Ley de Vagos y Maleantes remained on the books in Francoist Spain, and would be the regime’s primary legal tool to punish homosexuals until a change in law in 1970. The law enabled police to stop and detain anyone they suspected of being a homosexual. While lesbians were theoretically able to be found guilty of violating the law, in practice only a handful of the several thousand cases brought alleged homosexuals involved women.
Despite the changes in circumstances for many lesbians in Francoist Spain, some lesbians emerged relatively unscathed, tolerated by the regime. Marisa Roesset Velasco participated in the 1939 Exposición Internacional de Arte Sacro, an exhibit supported by the Franco regime to honor fallen heroes. Roesset was an important figurative and religious painter in the first half the 20th century. Unlike a number of her contemporaries, she remained in Spain following the Civil War and was an active participant in the Franco regime’s Sección Feminina.
Lesbians represented a problem for the Franco regime in that, for the most part, they could not comprehend their very existence. Maria Giralt, Managing Director of Gayles TV, said, “Two women who lived together were not suspects, which is why the law was not enforced, but when something does not exist, it is not claimed.” When the regime could identify and comprehend female homosexuality, they did their best to erase it.
While the regime strongly condemned homosexuality and tried to end it, in the first few years after the war, it was not a prime concern of the regime. For both lesbians and gay men who were more apolitical, this was sometimes useful as the regime was busy focusing repression on other groups, particularly Republicans, those suspected of being “reds” or those engaged in armed resistance to the regime. The regime’s goal was to force its particular form of conservative Catholicism on to the population.
Both gay men and lesbian women were persecuted in the Franco regime, but their repression was unique to their sex. Gay men were repressed using legislative and penitentiary tools while lesbians were repressed using cultural, religious, psychiatric and medical institutions to try to domesticate them. Male homosexuality would later become to be viewed as a contagion, leading the regime to create specialized centers for incarceration where isolation and psychiatric tools could be used to try to cure them.
Understanding the official extent of legal persecution of lesbians in Francoist Spain is difficult in large part because lesbians were rarely charged under the 1933 Ley de Vagos y Maleantes as political prisoners when compared to their gay male peers; instead, lesbians were often charged as common criminals and labeled prostitutes, one of only two types of employment allowed on intake forms with the other being housewife. At the same time, many regional governments have denied access to or destroyed records of people who were charged under the law as part of later institutional coverups of state persecution of homosexuals, both men and women.
The Franco regime did set up some camps and prisons specifically for deviant women, including Caserón de la Goleta, the prison for women in Málaga. Lesbians were often found at these camps and prisons. Along with other women at them, they often forcibly had their heads shaved and were subjected to attempts to regime approve feminizing through activities like prayer.
During the early Franco period, large numbers of women were imprisoned, often for their political beliefs but also for a number of other reasons. Lesbians were not generally tolerated among prisoners, viewed as sluts and sows by other inmates. At the same time, the lack of ability to have consensual sexual relations with men resulted in some women fostering homoromantic and homosexual relationships inside prison because of the circumstances, with a willingness to engage in these relationships being more common among political prisoners and the middle and upper classes. How common these relationships actually were is difficult to determine from records of the time. What is known is that if such relationships were discovered by political leaders among the prisoners, those leaders would shun those women and cut off their support networks in prison. Sexually suspect behavior among political prisoners included masturbation, which prisoners also tried to repress themselves from engaging in for fear of social exclusion in prison life. Homosexuality was viewed by the women, and their political leadership, was a weakness that could result in the women being blackmailed and consequently endangering the political organization.
Coming out as a female homosexual or even being suspected of being a female homosexual by family members could put a lesbian’s freedom and life at risk. Family members could forcibly take them to institutions, where they would be trapped and sometimes subjected to intrusive and abusive sexual conduct on the part of medical doctors there to assist them in becoming heterosexuals. This could include things like daily asking if they were a virgin or measuring the size of their clitoris. Some family members and some institutions also tried to cure lesbians through electroshock treatment. Family members would also disown lesbians, throw them out on the street or in some cases sexually assault them just for being lesbians. This ripped apart families, and even an increase in tolerance towards homosexuality in the transition period was not enough for many lesbians whose fractured relationships with family members remained broken as a result of the abuse they were subjected to.
Accusations of homosexuality as a crude insult to undermine authority figures or people in the public spotlight were common in this period, whether or not there was any actual basis for such an accusation. Francisco Franco was dogged by such slanders starting in the Civil War and throughout the dictatorship. Sección Femenina founder Pilar Primo de Rivera, sister of Falange founder José Antonio Primo de Rivera, would also be repeatedly subjected to such rumors and innuendos.
Despite the illegality of homosexuality, strict gender norms and rigidity of Spanish culture, lesbians could make use of the invisibility of women in general and government-imposed sex segregation to their benefit by allowing them to hide in plain sight. Women in general could walk down streets, arm-in-arm, without being molested except by a few aggressive, sexist and homophobic men.
While lesbians were able to remain closeted, many were not confined to their homes as they could still participate in all women’s spaces and mixed spaces within gender specific cultural rules. This meant they could socialize with other lesbians and non-LGB acquaintances inside and outside their homes. In gender appropriate dress and in gender appropriate places, they could go out to places like theaters, cafes, cabarets, literary gatherings, public baths, beaches and women’s only swimming pools, using fake names to protect themselves from being accidentally outed while still being in public with a girlfriend. In urban areas, these culturally single women could throw all women’s parties with neighbor support because they were not socializing with men. Early on in the Franco period, one of the places for lesbians to socialize in Barcelona were the Baños Orientales, which had originally opened in 1872 and were almost exclusively women only from their inception. Another popular place for lesbians to meet in the city was the La Cabana Cafe. They also created spaces close to Parallel and las Ramblas in Barcelona. These sorts of opportunities and public spaces allowed lesbians of this period to create their own social networks, which served to support each other economically and culturally and served as conduits for lesbian media and literature.
Lesbians also developed their own subculture, allowing them to more easily identify each other. Lesbians would often use code words, such as librarian or bookseller, or for younger lesbians, asking “Are you a comic?”  Lesbians might also organize cabarets, where in all women spaces they could question gender norms. They might go to single sex beaches where women’s activity was less likely to be monitored than mixed sexed spaces. Lesbian researcher Matilde Albarracín described their behavior as “So subversive.”
In this period, female homosexuals were sometimes said to be members of the “club de la costura”. This referred to close female friendship that crossed over the line to romantic love. The coded language allowed lesbians to recognize each other in a time when homosexual desire was forbidden by the regime.
Still, the need to remain closeted created constant stress on lesbians; it required they hide their identities from family, friends, employers, members of their church. Everything they did often had a clandestine nature to it, requiring lesbians to continually lower their voices to not be overheard, to remain silent so people would not suspect them for being homosexuals. If they suspected others in social and religious groups they belonged to suspected they were lesbians, they would often cut ties to avoid discovery. It led many lesbians to be feel isolated and lonely. For some lesbians, this constant fear of being outed was not something they could cope with and they chose suicide instead of life in a closet or dealing with the consequences of being outed.
Rural life posed even more challenges for lesbians because of their isolation away from other girls and women like themselves; they had few to no people they could turn to for guidance and advice. A number of these lesbians left for cities where it was easier for them to be invisible and lessened their chances of being outed as no one knew who they were. Other rural lesbians tried to escape through education; unfortunately, one of the few occupations available in the early Franco period for educated women was teaching. This left lesbian educators constantly fearing they would be outed, resulting in children leaving the school just for suspecting them or the teacher being fired if school administrators suspected them.
Lesbians could and did create their own unique family units in this era, some unique to the homosexual experience and some that mirrored that of heterosexual couples. Part of this was in response to the dominant culture that placed huge value on the traditional family unit that lesbians unconsciously adopted. Some family units included unmarried women cohabitating together, where living together was accepted or considered not important because the women claimed to be cousins; lesbians were able to do this in a way that did not arouse suspicion while their gay male counterparts who tried to cohabitate were often attacked as queers. Cohabitating lesbians masquerading as cousins was not without risk as they could still be culturally ostracized for being unable to find men who tolerated them enough to marry them. While two single working women was less, these couples were always at the risk of and in fear of being outed as living together required them to erase any public signs of being a lesbian. It was from this group of lesbians that a political focus on the recognition of their relationships became important in the transition period, especially as it related to claims of political asylum, adoption rights and the right to habeas corpus.
Other lesbians couples would sometimes seek out a gay male couple to marry, with both couples living together. These lesbians then might seek a semen donation from the gay men in order to start their own families, and better portray themselves as regime sanctioned heterosexual couples.
Many lesbians though were unable to form their own lesbian-based family units for a variety of reasons and suffered as a result. Some married men and had children because of a lack of other options. Some married men, even knowing they were lesbians, and then would have secret assignations with other women. This could leave these women feeling even more alone and isolated. A few would even then go to confession out of guilt for breaking their marriage vows and being unable to control their desires. Some, after serving time in institutions or prison related to their orientation, would marry a man as a way of escaping societal pressures to conform. Some women, especially in more rural areas, would do what earlier Spanish women had done and join a convent as they viewed this place as a safer place to live, where they could more easily hide their lesbianism.
Carmen Conde, Victorina Durán, Margarita Xirgu, Ana María Sagi, Irene Polo, and Lucía Sánchez Saornil all survived the Civil War, but none of these lesbians could afford to stay in Spain as it would have likely meant imprisonment or death. In exile, many for the first time were able to be more open about their sexual orientation though they all also tried to remain discrete about it. Lucía Sánchez Saornil also went into exile, but was the only one to return in the early Franco period. She and her partner, América Barroso, returned to Madrid in 1941 as a result of France falling to the Nazis. Their identities being suspected, they shortly moved to Valencia with Barroso working at the Argentine consulate and Sánchez Saornil continued to write and work as an editor. Sánchez Saornil’s earlier important works were all forgotten, removed from Spanish literary canon. Her ability to write to survive depended on her ability to remain anonymous. Sánchez Saornil remained in the city until her death on 2 June 1970.
Oculto sendero by Elena Fortún began circulating in 1945, and, though it was never officially published until 2016, it was the most important piece of Spanish lesbian literature in the Francoist period. The story involved the experiences of a Spanish lesbian in exile.
Irene Polo was born in 1909 in Barcelona, and would go to become one of the pioneers in Catalan and Spanish journalism despite being relative out regarding her sexual orientation. Between 1930 and 1936, she wrote for a variety of publications including La Humanitat, La Rambla, L’Opinió, L’Instant and Última Hora, developing a reputation as a straight-shooting street journalist. In 1935, at the age of 25, she wrote a series of six articles titled Postals d’Eivissa from Ibiza in the Canary Islands for the Catalan language newspaper L’Instant that earned her national acclaim. Ahead of her time, Polo learned to fly planes, wore pants and supported nudism and sexual freedom. In 1936, she would meet Margarita Xirgu and fall hard for the actress made famous by Federico García Lorca’s plays. Polo abandoned her career to become a publicist for Xirgu on her theater group’s tour of Latin America. The couple separated after the tour at Xirgu’s instigation with Xirgu moving to Chile. Polo, unable to return to Spain because of the Civil War, went to Argentina to join her family. She was never able to get over Xirgu, and committed suicide at the age of 33 in Buenos Aires by jumping out a window.
The Lyceum Club Femenino de Madrid was continuing its activities, though covertly and unofficially, in Madrid in 1948. Elena Fortún, visiting the city in an effort to seek amnesty from the Franco regime for her husband, reconnected with her friends from the group. Despite the joy in reconnecting with lost friends, Fortún was depressed as so much in Madrid had changed and she had not been an active participant in that change. Her husband committed suicide a few months later, with Fortún moving to the United States with her son. She returned to Madrid soon after, and died in the city on 8 May 1952. Despite the loss of members like Fortún, the Lyceum Club Femenino de Madrid continued its activities in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, though they did as clandestinely as possible to avoid government repression. Their activities continued to support women’s education and feminist ideals.
La Aldea Maldita was a 1942 film directed by Florián Rey. The film’s plot involving an adulterous woman returning to her village to beg the town’s patriarch’s forgiveness was a metaphor for the ideal espouse by Spanish National-Catholicism. It was not about lesbian at all, but rather aimed at all women in Spain who strayed sexually in any way from the regime’s feminine ideals regarding female sexuality, including lesbians. They wanted these women to repent and to change their behavior. In some court cases brought in places like Sevilla during the 1960s, it looks like lesbians tried to do that, to plead repentance and a willingness to change as a means to try to escape or reduce punishment for violating the Ley de Ley de Vagos y Maleantes.
The Penal Code of 1944 made the creation of homosexual organizations illegal as a result of article 172. It said any associations that were contrary to public morals were illegal. This law would be used up until the early transition period to prevent both homosexuals and lesbians from organizing.
In 1945, the concepts of “estado peligroso” and “defensa social” found in the Penal Code of 1932 were repurposed by the regime to again make homosexuality a criminal offense by defining it as a sex acts.
The Circulo Safico likely continued to function, even in exile as late as 1945 with Victorina Durán, Elena Fortún, and Rosa Chacel among those participating in meetings taking place on Saturdays in Buenos Aires. Matilde Ras had gone to Lisbon, and was not part of the group though she kept up with members via letters
The 1950s meant a new economic period for Spain, moving away from strictly state controlled in the interest of enforcing regime goals and more towards a consumerist based economy. This trend would accelerate into the 1960s. The economic changes posed a challenge for the regime as they required more women to enter the workforce, introducing these women to the concept of the new modern Western woman that eschewed the concept of True Catholic Womanhood.
Village life during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s often allowed lesbians some measure of being openly affectionate during local festivals and celebrations without being suspected because traditional dances included pasodobles. These types od dances featured women dancing together. Gay men in contrast could not do that as men stood on the outside, watching these dances or danced with women.
The Baños Orientales continued to be popular with lesbians, and all classes of women in the area during the 1950s. This period also saw the introduction, from France, of the bikini to the baths as wearing one elsewhere risked women being fined by the Guardia Civil.
The 1950 Spanish film My hija Veronica was filmed near Bañolas. The lesbian themed film was based on the 1941 book Preludio a la muerte by Elizabeth Mulder. The 80-minute film was shot in black and white, and released in Spain during the Francoist period. . The plot revolves around a Spanish girl who befriends an American girl at their Swiss boarding school. When the Spanish girl returns to Spain to marry, she invites her American friend which results in all sorts of complications. The film starred Carlos Agostí, Margarita Andrey and Barta Barri. It was filmed at Lago de Bañolas and S’Agaró.
Mi vida en el manicomio, by Ángles Villarta who was born in Asturias in 1919, is a book that was self-published in Madrid in 1953 about the author’s experience living in a women’s asylum in Oviedo. Among the topics the author touches on in the book are her dissatisfaction with her own femininity. The book gives an idea about women’s sexuality and the lack of control women had over their owner sexuality in the Franco period of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The book has a seen where a young girl comes up and tells the author that she will marry her one day, and no one seems bothered by this. It turns out the young woman, who has mobility issues, escapes to the mountains on a regular basis where she sheds the trappings of femininity and dresses like a man. The young woman only engaged in performative femininity for the benefit of the psychiatrists. The author interpreted the marriage proposal as part of the woman’s masculine personality.
On 15 July 1954, Franco modified the penal code to explicitly persecute homosexual men. This new law read,
“To homosexuals, pimps and touts, professional beggars and those who live by begging by exploiting other minors, mentally ill or disabled, the following measures will be applied to be met immediately:
a) confinement in a working institution or agricultural colony. Homosexuals placed under this security measure must be placed in special institutions and, in any case, by absolute separation from all others.
b) Prohibition of residing in a specific place or territory and obligation to declare your domicile.
c) Submission to the supervision of delegates.”
This modification largely excluded lesbians as Franco’s judicial system could not conceptualize the idea of two women having sex with each other, and only one female homosexual would ever be charged with violating it.
The state’s lack of intentional legal repression of female homosexuality meant, unlike their male peers, there were never any specific penal colonies or mental institutions dedicated to imprisoning and treating lesbians. Part of this was an intentional policy, fearing that naming female homosexuality in law would create a social contagion resulting in more female homosexuality appearing in society.
Judge Antonio Sabater Tomás was one of primary architects of judicial repression of homosexuals during the Franco period through the use of the Ley de vagos y maleantes in Catalonia and the Baeleric Islands. Among those he sentenced were a number of lesbians and a number of gender non-conforming women whose sexual orientation was unknown.
Valentín Pérez Argilés, a professor of Legal Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Zaragoza, was an important figure in the middle Franco period in terms of providing pseudoscientific justification to members of the judiciary and government to justify the repression of female homosexuals. Pérez did not consider female homosexuality a danger to the state, finding only one case of lesbianism, and that was in Sevilla.
Arévalo was a home to a mental hospital that served as a reformatory for women labeled deviant by the Francoist state. It was not a women’s prison. It held girls and women aged 16 to 25. Once there, women were separated from their families, stripped of identification, cut off from the rest of the world and left completely helpless. It was one of the largest of its kind in Spain, specifically for women of this age, institutionalized, cut off from the rest of the world and left completely helpless. It was a hidden prison system inside Spain, to which very little continues to be known.
During the Franco era, there were female police officers who looked for women who could oppose the regime, including opposition by virtue of flaunting the regime’s moral code. These officers sometimes patrolled areas like bars, swimming pools, dance halls and cinemas looking for women under the age of 21, which was then the age of majority. If they found women engaged in suspect behavior, including suspected lesbian behavior, they could then detain the young women and take them to a Centro de Observación y Clasificación (COC). These were akin to police stations run by nuns. Once there, girls could spend a week in cells similar to prison cells, eating food similar to that of prisoners. They would be checked for among other things their virginity, after which a punishment would be decided. Girls found guilty, even for offenses like homosexuality, would always get the same diagnosis, “trastorno de conducta” which means conduct disorder. If nuns found love letters to other women while there, lesbians could face severe consequences.
The literary culture of Spanish cafes continued for a while in the Francoist period. These played an important role in allowing lesbian writers who remained in Spain or who came of age in the early Francoist period like Gloria Fuertes an important place to perform their work, to get recognition and to used heavily coded language to criticize the regime even if these lesbians needed to remain heavily closeted. This practice ended though in the mid-1950s when Franco banned veladas literarias in cafes.
Lesbian media entered and remained in the “period of the catacombs” during the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s; all LGB media was underground, published covertly or imported from abroad. Influential magazines and newsletters of this period were often French, including the more gay focused Arcadia founded in 1957.
Lesbians were occasionally able to express themselves in the Francoist period through coplas, a type of Spanish musical, because censors were often unable to decode hidden messages inside them. In general though, male homosexuality, feminist ideas, transsexuality, transvestitism and gypsies were more likely to be subversive topics than lesbianism.
The economic changes and pressures for more people to enter the workforce continued into the late 1960s. The economy gave Spanish women, and particularly lesbians, a way to express their disapproval of the regime and its state-imposed patriarchy. Women began to become more involved in covert opposition activities, began to become more involved with union related actions, and began to develop networks of fellow activists that would play an important role when the regime finally ended with Franco’s death in 1975.
One of the ways the regime understood lesbians was as highly masculinized women. These represented a threat to men as they could encroach on public spaces reserved exclusively for men. As the regime aged, this fear became even greater and they began to suspect even more women of being lesbians, even if they could not acknowledge it to the general public. Romantic and sexual relationships between two women were viewed as even more threatening than out-of-wedlock heterosexual relationships as lesbian relationships were viewed as more durable and intense, and consequently representing more danger to the regime. It represented a challenge to dictatorship’s goal of further population growth and gave lie to the regime’s assertion that women needed to be home to serve a man.
The state refrained from advancing legislation to specifically target lesbians at times out of fear that doing so give lesbians and women in general greater visibility. This in turn could lead to lesbians mobilizing as a group to try to protest against the state. Thus, terms like “contacto carnal”, “invertidas” and “sodomitas” were used by the courts to describe lesbians brought before them even if they were not technically correct.
Such subordination was critical for avoiding social castigation that could have negative personal, social and economic repercussions. It marked women out as sexual deviants and perverts. Because it is impossible for most women, heterosexual, bisexual or lesbian, to completely sublimate their sexual desire, the state could and did intervene to “assist” women in suppressing their sexual desire. Lesbians were especially challenged because this system required them to express zero sexual desire lest they be marked as opponents to the regime by violating rules on that said accepted female expressions of sexual desire was none.
Barcelona, Ibiza and Sitges emerged as more liberal centers within Spain during the 1960s, and consequently attracted a number of homosexuals, mostly men, to these locations where they could experience more freedom than they could elsewhere in Spain.
Starting in the 1960s and continuing into the 1970s, international tourism in Spain brought an increasing number of more liberal visitors to the country, including homosexuals. These tourists played a critical role in increasing levels of homosexual toleration in the waning days of the regime.
A middle-aged single woman working on a farm was accused of being a lesbian following the theft of some olive branches in 1960 in a town in the province of Sevilla. The theft investigation by the Guardia Civil soon shifted to one focused on her masculine attributes, before determining the woman was a homosexual, a corrupter of minors, a social danger and a sexually inverted. She had six neighbors testify in defense of her character. Despite this, the Guardia Civil found her behavior because, according to the case file, “she lives in her own house on the outskirts of the town, dedicating themselves daily to men’s jobs in the field”. Her case appears similar to that of María Helena NG, discussed later, in that her gender non-conforming behavior was the problem for the authorities.
A pair of lesbian women broke up in Sevilla in 1960. One member of the couple accused her former partner of stealing a number of her personal belongings. To defend herself, the woman implied they were in an intimate friendship while living together in the same house and the relationship ended as a result of her desire to abandon the lifestyle resulting in disagreements. The alleged robber hoped the judge would view this as reason to give her leniency in sentencing. Despite this, the judge still sentenced the woman to a term of six months to three years in prison for being a habitual sexual invert. She was also prohibited from living in Sevilla for three years after her prison sentence, and had three years of probation after that. As a result of her confession with hopes of getting a lighter sentence, she ended up being submitting to oversight by the state judicial apparatus for nine years. She was imprisoned for three years, serving the final part at a prison in Segovia. While in prison, she had given birth to a child who had died. Upon being released, she returned to the province of Sevilla where she found work as a servant. In 1962, she was arrested for prostitution. No allowances were made for the fact that the woman had a 6-month-old son, and that she had moved in with her mother as she had nowhere else to go. The judge sent her back to prison. In 1967, the woman was arrested again after having been discovered in the province. She claimed she was there, visiting her now 5-year-old son who was living with his grandmother, and that her habitual residence was now in Barcelona. Despite this claim, the judge upheld the banishment from the province and sentenced her to 120 days in prison for violating the banishment.
Changes were made to the criminal law against public scandal in 1944 and amended with Ley 79/1961 and again in 1973.
1964 marked the start of the first of three important periods of Spanish lesbian literature. It would continue until 1975 and Franco’s death. The second included the transition period from 1975 to 1985. The last period started in 1985 and continues to the present. Important writers of this first era included Ana María Matute, Ana María Moix, María Luz Malecón, Teresa Barbero and Montserret Roig. Ana María Matute’s 1964 novel The Soldiers Cry at Night featured a lesbian character as morally reprehensible. 1967 Premio Nadal finalist The Last Summer in the Mirror by Teresa Barbero featured a bad lesbian couple struggling to adapt to their social reality. María Luz Malecón’s 1972 Celia Bites the Apple implied lesbians became lesbians as a result of trauma or bad people in their lives. Montserret Roig’s 1976 Time of the Cherries had a plot involving the cliché of many lesbian sexual experiences taking place at an all-girls school.
Family members could be the cause of police interference in the lives of lesbians in the Franco period. In 1966 in a small town in the province of Sevilla, a mother went to the Guardia Civil to denounce her single 22-year-old daughter who worked in a agri-food processing factory for having a relationship with another woman at the factory. The language in the court documents coded the relationship as lovers but also described the relationship using the word amistad. The mother’s intention was not to see her daughter imprisoned, but rather to have the state to intervene to force the termination of the relationship. Still, the state found the daughter guilty of sodomy and sent her to prison. The mother lodged a petition on her daughter’s behalf with the Junta Provincial del Patronato de Protección a la Mujer to seek clemency.
On 30 March 1968, 21-year-old María Helena NG was charged in Catalonia with violating the Ley de Vagos y Maleantes. Her arrest, with file number 296, is one of a just a handful involving female homosexuals for violating the 1933 law. Her charge sheet said, “She was arrested when she was in the bar La Gran Cava, located on Calle Conde del Asalto number 25 in a suspicious attitude and dressed as a man. He has no background, stating that he does not engage in any activity, living off the charities he is given and sometimes making blood donations. He says that he dresses as a man so that he can deceive women towards whom he feels an irresistible inclination.” María Helena’s arrest was precipitated by the fact of her drinking alcohol while dressed in masculine clothing.
The court, in sentencing María Helena, ruled, “Her clearly, defined and manifest tendency towards homosexuality, make it particularly dangerous to coexist with the young women who have received this patronage, whom she has already tried to make her homosexual practices in the few days she has been hospitalized. Such dangerousness […] is what makes us put the aforementioned young woman at the disposal of that Ilmo. Special Court, especially when, to a greater extent, our rehabilitation services inform us in an absolutely negative sense as regards the possibility of reeducation of this young woman, given her age and characteristics.”
María Helena was initially held in a Barcelona prison, before being transferred to the Women’s Section of the Junta Provincial de Madrid prison facilities as a dependent of the Ministry of Justice. She had been sentenced by the courts for a period of between 127 days to one year, followed by a two-year period of exile from Barcelona and a two year period of probation. This sentence was based on sentencing guidelines spelled out in the Ley de Vagos y Maleantes. While imprisoned, the state showed no respect for her body or her mental well-being; they searched her body for physical deformities, measured her clitoris side and asked intrusive and detailed questions about her sexual habits.
Ester Tusquets and her brother Oscar would play an important role in supporting left leaning antidictatorial attitudes with their publishing company Editorial Lumen. Oscar left the publishing house in 1968, and Tusquets shifted towards publishing more gay men, women writers in general, lesbian writers specifically. Editorial Lumen also started publishing more translated foreign works, children’s stories and cultural theory texts.
Anna María Moix’s 1969 work Julia was an important example lesbian literature of the first period. It exemplified the erasure and difficulty homophobes faced in trying to attack lesbians directly; their militant belief in patriarchy meant they could not comprehend a woman having her own sexuality. This sort of thinking, explained in the book and found throughout society, often meant so long as lesbians blended, were invisible and publicly conformed to expected gender roles that they could be largely free of abuse and discrimination. At the same time, this required lesbians to be complicit in their own erasure in order to protect themselves.
LGB and transsexual activist organizations in Madrid started emerging from the the communist community, integrating their Marxist ideology into their activism, in the early 1970s in the dying days of the regime. Armanda Klein, a member of the community party, was one of the main people bringing this into the movement in the early 1970s. Barcelona was at the forefront of this Spanish lesbian and gay activist movement, a place the city would continue to hold into the transition period. The Barcelona movement was inspired greatly by the French movement across the border, not from the emerging British and American homosexual rights movements. These early Spanish activists saw themselves at the forefront of creating a new social consciousness that would change Spanish society by challenging gender norms. This movement differed from the American and British one because it was not about securing rights or seeking legal status and also because it did not seek to create alliances with political parties, unions or other leftist organizations.
There was also a nascent feminist movement developing in Spain in the early 1970s, much of it based in Barcelona. Gretel Ammann was active with that group of female activists, along with being active in the peace and disarmament movements, environmental activism and would begin her journey in becoming a lesbian political activist before Franco’s death.
The Ley sobre peligrosidad y rehabilitación social was passed in 1970. One of the purposes of the law was to try to cure homosexuality, with primarily men who were found guilty being sent to detention centers in Badajoz and Huelva.
The Franco regime had severely limited the ability of people to legally protest, or to even legally gather without state approval. Agrupación Homófila para la Igualdad Sexual (AGHOIS), who changed their name in 1975 to Movimiento Español de Liberación Homosexual (MELH), was founded by Francesc Francino and Armand de Fluviá in Barcelona in 1970 as part of an effort to change attitudes inside the Church, arts, medicine, law, sociology and the press to being less hostile towards homosexuals, to get them to stop teaching that homosexuality was evil and to combat homophobia. Founded by gay men, the organization had a few lesbians who participated in their organization, but they were not regular contributors nor involved in the organization’s leadership. Among its lesbian members were a couple who used the pseudonyms Marga y Amanda Klein. To avoid attracting attention of the authorities, they kept their meetings clandestine and no more than eight people were ever allowed to attend at one time. At their meetings, they discussed texts and books that were often brought in from abroad. They also started publishing their own newsletter called Aghois (Agrupación Homófila para la Integración Social). The magazine and the expansion of the network in cities like Madrid and Bilbao that they built was designed to be ready for the day when the dictatorship fell and a mass movement could be created to advocate for homosexual rights. AGHOIS was founded in reaction to the passage of the 1970 Ley sobre peligrosidad y rehabilitación social. In 1972, the group started publishing a newsletter.
AGHOIS’s goals were not embraced by everyone in the nascent homosexual rights movement; many opposed their activities as they felt they were high risk with little potential reward. Despite their objections, AGHOIS’s methods would later be vindicated to a certain degree in the democratic transition and later periods as one of the major goals was influencing these groups by making homosexuals more visible, making people aware that they had homosexual friends and family members and using various tools to try to normalize homosexuals, homosexual desire and homosexual relationships. Nonetheless, their founding in 1970 meant that when the regime ended, they were one of the first organized groups to emerge in the transition period. They were the embryo organization from which FAGC would be born years later.
It is in the final years of Franco’s life that any sort of homosexual activism begins to take place. Before Madrid had its first pride march in 1978, militant lesbian feminists and some male homosexuals had marched a few times during the early 1970s. They did so on 28 June, with numbers ranging between 50 and 80 protesters who took great risks doing so and homosexuality was a criminal offense. Many of these women were at the bottom of society and had nowhere else to go, a situation that gay men did not face in the same way. These were often organized at the dark and underground lesbian bar, Berliner. One such march took place on calle Preciados. Marginalization by society gave these women the courage and the ability to speak out as they had nothing else to lose. The Franco regime had done all it could to make these women invisible, first because of their sex and second because of their same-sex attraction. When they became visible, they received sex specific punishment, different than their gay male counterparts. Gay men were repressed using legislative and penitentiary tools while lesbians were repressed using cultural, religious, psychiatric and medical institutions to try to domesticate them.
Luisa Isabel Álvarez de Toledo y Maura was born on 12 August 1936 in exile at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in Estoril, Portugal. Her family returned to Spain in 1938, moving to Sanlúcar de Barrameda and residing their until Álvarez turned nine. The future duchess became a writer and archivist after taking control of her family archive in 1956. The previous year, she had married Leoncio González de Gregorio y Martí with whom she went on to have three children in three years before separating from him. Her political views were to the left, and she became known in Spain as the Red Duchess, making her relationship with the Franco regime difficult. Expressing sympathy for Fidel Castro and other radical ideas for someone of her stature, she was imprisoned in Madrid’s women’s prison Las Ventas for one year starting on 27 March 1969 because of her involvement in an illegal demonstration in support of victims of the nuclear accident in Palomares, Almería. She served only eight months before she was transferred within weeks of her initial detention to Central Prison for Women in Alcalá de Henares. Because of her continuing expression of her political views, the Public Order Court (TOP) issued an arrest warrant for her on 10 April 1970, which Álvarez was tipped off to and successfully crossed into France over the Pyrenees via car the following day. When police arrived at her house on 14 April 1970, she was long gone. While in exile in France, she continued to campaign against the Franco regime. She did not return until October 1976, after political prisoners had been given amnesty by royal decree. At the time of her return from exile, her relationship with her children and other family members was very strained and she had not seen many in over twenty years. By the time, activists with whom she had worked with were already aware of sexual orientation though this was not widely known outside that tight knit group. In 1983, Álvarez became involved with Liliana Maria Dahlmann, her secretary, in a relationship that would last the rest of her life. In 2005, Álvarez’s divorce from González became official. Álvarez and Dahlmann would marry on 7 March 2008, eleven hours before Álvarez died. The marriage started one of Spain’s biggest tabloid inheritance stories in history with what was thought of as up to a billion euros in assets at stake as a result of Álvarez leaving almost her whole estate to Dahlmann, her new wife.
In 1970, Ley de Vagos y Maleantes of 1933 was replaced with the Ley de Peligrosidad Social. A significant change in this law was that it classified homosexuality was a mental illness. A consequence of the change in law for lesbians was that the state could now forcibly institutionalize any woman they suspected of being a homosexual instead of sending them to prison. In practice, legal efforts to cure homosexuality exclusively focused on men, who when found guilty were sent to detention centers in Badajoz and Huelva. Only two cases against lesbians are known prosecution took place sometime between 1971 and 1978, with no other specific details of the prosecution available outside the case of María Helena NG in Barcelona because of data privacy laws. Prosecutions of lesbians, both under the law and other, were always rare and became even more rare in the last decade of the regime as lesbianism just was not viewed as threat to the existence of the Franco government.
Lesbians continued to use the Baños Orientales in the 1970s, where women now would often go topless, with the people running the baths turning a blind eye to this behavior. At the same time, women also often brought their children, including boys, to the baths with them.
Prosecutions of women under the 1933 law remained rare. Outside the 1968 case of María Helena NG, the only other known prosecution took place sometime between 1971 and 1978, with no other specific details of the prosecution available because of data privacy laws. Prosecutions of lesbians, both under the law and other, were always rare and became even more rare in the last decade of the regime as lesbianism just was not viewed as threat to the existence of the Franco government.
By the early 1970s, in the dying days of the regime, Barcelona was at the forefront of the Spanish lesbian and gay activism, a place the city would continue to hold into the transition period. The Barcelona movement was inspired greatly by the French movement across the border, not from the emerging British and American homosexual rights movements. These early Spanish activists saw themselves at the forefront of creating a new social consciousness that would change Spanish society by challenging gender norms. This movement differed from the American and British one because it was not about securing rights or seeking legal status and also because it did not seek to create alliances with political parties, unions or other leftist organizations.
Women’s sports in Spain has been a historical home for both lesbian and non-gender conforming women but their ability to participate in sport has been hampered by men in power imposing patriarchal gender norms on women. RFEF President José Luis Pérez-Payá said in 1971, “I’m not against women’s football, but I don’t like it either. I don’t see it as very feminine from an aesthetic point of view. Women in t-shirts and pants are not very favored. Any regional costume would suit him better.” (In Spanish, “No estoy en contra del fútbol femenino, pero tampoco me agrada. No lo veo muy femenino desde el punto de vista estético. La mujer en camiseta y pantalón no está muy favorecida. Cualquier traje regional le sentaría mejor.” Despite his view and with official opposition from the RFEF, women began forming teams and playing in unofficial matches. When women were able to secure RFEF accredited referees, match officials often had to wear tracksuits to hide the RFEF logo to avoid being punished by the federation. This situation continued up until 1980 when women were officially allowed in to the RFEF, though the first official match for women would not take place until 1983.
A national women’s handball competition league was organized in 1973 by Medina del Campo section of Sección Femenina. Among the towns and teams competing were A Coruña, Castellón, Gipuzkoa, Málaga, Santander, Valencia, Zaragoza and Atlético Madrid. While it is unknown if there were lesbians participating in the competition, it is highly probable as Sección Femenina sports were one of the few gender non-conforming regime approved activities available at the time. For otherwise isolated lesbians, modern researchers believe events like this would have offered opportunities to free themselves of otherwise repressive environments that they may not have had. Unfortunately, sports were a huge financial drain for Sección Femenina and they stopped supporting almost all teams and events in 1974. This led to a collapse of almost all women’s sports in the country within a few years as teams were unable to find local government support or sponsors.
On 24 June 1971, a major raid took place in Torremolinos in which 300 people were identified and 114 were arrested for “violating morality and good customs” as defined by the Dangerousness and Social Rehabilitation Law. In custody, there were subjected to further humiliation. Foreigners picked up in the raid were deported, and police records were opened for all arrested. Some of them were subjected to further police surveillance upon release. Following the raid, most of the LGB friendly places in the city were closed out of fear.
AGHOIS published its newsletter in France from 1972 to 1974 and then mailed to subscribers inside Spain. Ministro de Interior López Rodó was able to convince his French counterpart to suspend publication of the newsletter and prevent shipment of it to Spain. AGHOIS got around this by writing, producing, publishing and mailing out their newsletter from Sweden instead.
During the Franco period, lesbians in the province of Ciudad Real had few options. Many were given electroshock treatment, resulting in early deaths a few years after treatment in at least two cases. Others married men because it was the easiest path to escape. Still others committed suicide. Among them was a classmate of M.C.D. A second person M.C.D. knew to commit suicide was a 27-year-old professor.
On 21 March 1974, a 16-year-old Spanish girl referred to as M.C.D. was given a prison in Ciudad Real sentence of four months to three years for being a lesbian, with her charge sheet saying she was “a rebellious homosexual with her family who is in a dangerous state.” Under Article 2 of Law 4 of the 1970 Ley de Peligrosidad Social, she was sent for re-education. The minimal sentence of four months was based on the sentencing rule found in Article 6 of the same law. This was followed by a banishment from “visiting nightclubs and public establishments where alcoholic beverages are consumed for two years.” Her re-education never actually took place; instead she was put to work with other women to knit, sew and make leather crafts for a pittance of a wage. She was released after serving the minimum sentence.
Arrested as a 16-year-old, M.C.D. never learned why she was targeted by a group of plainclothes policemen, whether her behavior had attracted their attention or if someone she knew had denounced her. According to M.C.D., “For months I was subjected to a pantomime persecutory that I did not understand at all and that ended in a paranoia of lasting effects for life.”
152 people were tried in Madrid for homosexuality related offenses in 1974 and 1975, of which only two cases involved women. According to the Instituto Lambda, their names and the details of their cases are not known because of privacy concerns and refusals to release even redacted information to get a better historical picture of the time period.
The Franco government created eight commissions ahead of the United Nations Year of the Woman in 1975 with the purpose of investigating the status of women in the Spanish state. Based on their research, the government published a pair of reports published in 1975 titled were La situación de la mujer en España and Memoria del Año Internacional de la Mujer. Lesbians were mentioned in these reports, including one talking about an increasing number of lesbians in the country, citing reasons such as “physical or congenital defects”, the “affective traumas and unsatisfied desires”, family being unable to prevent women’s conversation, “Contagion and mimicry” and “[…] the lack of relationship with men as a consequence of an excess education rigidly rigid, the existence of institutions that by their very nature eliminate these relationships: prisons, hospitals, psychiatric, religious communities etc …, the media, tourism, alcohol, drugs and desire of search for new sensations, prostitution, and vice.” To remedy this problem, the government report proposed solutions like “early diagnoses and medical treatments and psychotherapeutics that [corrected] possible somatic defects”, promoting the idea that men and women can peacefully co-exist and that sex education should be introduced into schools. The latter still would not formally happen through a national curriculum by 2019.
A direct translation from Spanish to English of jornadas is days, and these are generally conferences or camps or schools specific to Spanish feminism that last half a day to a week. Started in late 1975 the last days of Francoism, jornadas are around creating organizational structures to support feminist goals. Lesbian topics had been occasionally referencing in earlier jornadas but it was not until 1983 that the first Spanish lesbian jornadas took place.
In the final days of the dictatorship and, the word gay rarely ever appeared, let alone the word lesbian, because homosexuality was still viewed as representing a “social danger” to society. When there was any respectful discussion of gays and lesbians, the word homosexual was used instead. Early media discussion in the very immediate post-Franco period still saw homosexuality as a medical or psychological issue. If the media viewed homosexuals as having any rights limited in their reporting as a result of the current laws, it was the basic human rights of gays and lesbians. Their civil, social and political rights were not considered. The Spanish media also failed to make any distinction between sexual orientation and sexual politics. Lesbians were assimilated into reporting on feminism, and all feminists were suspected of being lesbians.
Francisco Franco died on 20 November 1975. Two years prior, he had surrendered the function of Presidente del Gobierno, remaining on in government only as the titular head of state and the commander-in-chief of the army. He had settled the question of who would succeed him in 1969 when he named Infante Juan Carlos I his successor. Franco deemed his father, Conde de Barcelona Juan de Borbón, too liberal and bypassed him in favor of the son. By 1973, there were tensions with groups inside the Movimiento as they all jockeyed for positions, anticipating Franco’s death and a transition period for which they wanted to be in control of. When Presidente del Gobierno Luis Carrero Blanco was killed on 20 December 1973 as a result of an ETA bombing, the liberal factions inside the Francoist movement finally had an edge. On 19 July 1974, Franco’s health started to decline and Juan Carlos became the acting head of government until Franco recovered and resumed his duties on 2 September 1974. His Parkinson’s disease and other health problems meant his health declined again a year later, and Franco made his last public appearance on 1 October 1975. He fell into a coma and was put on life support on 30 October. Franco died at the age of 82 after his family made the decision to remove him from life support. Two days later, on 22 November 1975, Juan Carlos I was declared the king of Spain and the country moved into a new, more peaceful transition period.
 Spanish: libreras.
 Spanish:¿Eres tebeo?.
 Spanish: Primas.
 Spanish: Maricones.
 Spanish: Los soldados lloran de noche.
 Spanish: El útimo verano en el Espejo.
 Spanish: Celia muerde la manzana.
 Spanish: Tiempo de cerezas.
 Spanish: Fue detenida cuando se hallaba en el bar La Gran Cava sito en la calle Conde del Asalto número 25 en actitud sospechosa y vestida de hombre. Carece de antecedentes, manifestando que no se dedica a actividad alguna, viviendo de las caridades que le hacen y algunas veces haciendo donaciones de sangre. Dice que se viste de hombre para así poder engañar a las mujeres hacia las que siente una irresistible inclinación.
 Spanish: “Su clara, definida y manifiesta tendencia a la homosexualidad, la hacen particularmente peligrosa para convivir con las jóvenes acogidas a este patronato, a las que ya ha pretendido hacer objeto de sus prácticas homosexuales en los escasos días que lleva internada. Tal peligrosidad […] es lo que nos hace poner a la referida joven a disposición de ese Ilmo. Juzgado Especial, máxime, cuando, a mayor abundamiento, nuestros servicios de readaptación nos informan en sentido absolutamente negativo en cuanto a la posibilidad de reeducación de ésta joven, dada su edad y características.”