At 18 he got his first tattoo. At 19 he published his first collection of poems. At 23, she was orphaned by a mother. At 25 she became a mother herself. At 30 days ago, she has gone to live alone in Barcelona with her son, Ulises, without ever separating from her husband, the also writer Antonio J. Rodríguez, author of The old new masculinity nor from their mutual friends and other partners who make up what he calls his “support network.” Miguel, a very active feminist in networks, considers that he innovates by innovating and militates by living and working with absolute naturalness. We meet in a bar in the Madrid neighborhood where he stays, with friends, when he comes to the capital. The photographer loves his tattoos, obviously. And she has no qualms about wearing them for the camera, or sharpening the headline of this interview until it fits, exact and forceful, in the corset of the model. His monocles do not fall off. He has been in front of and behind the publishing shed for a decade. Master the codes.
At 30 years of age, in your profession, are you junior or senior?
I hope that after 10 years writing, publishing, editing, being visible, I will be a senior. I hope they take me more seriously than I think they have taken me so far. The 30 is only a figure, but also a kind of ticket towards which they can no longer call me a girl, I can no longer be an intern. I am something else. It should be something else.
Have they called you so much a girl?
Constantly. Or “little poet”, who has it all. Machismo and condescension. Youth is used as a double-edged sword. If you are young and different, the trend journalist already has his perfect headline. It seems that youth enhances a figure, but the same they believe they have the right to pay you less, than to consider you a young promise and idealize you for no real reason from the beginning.
What it is, statistically, is a young mother. He had his son with 25.
My mother was a teenage mother. He had me at 17. He died at 41. He did everything very prematurely in life, until he died. That was what invited me to be a mother. Almost an animal instinct. That emptiness made me rethink my youth. I didn’t want children at the time, but that made me decide to such an extent that I insisted after an abortion.
He called him Ulises and takes his last name first. Statement of intents?
Well, his father and I are writers and some cliché had to fall. At home, my parents read me Odyssey. My father’s little daughter, two years old, is called Ithaca. Putting my last name first was my decision, and my partner agreed. We are privileged, not everyone in my generation can be a parent, even if they want to, and we have a whole support network. Our friends, and our other couples, because we both date other people, they love Ulises very much and they help us raise him.
What do you know about jealousy?
Obviously, there is jealousy, but we have never been told that that too can be eradicated and worked on. You can be happy seeing someone you love being happy with someone else. That is the ideal.
Is working it go therapy?
I am lucky to be obsessed with books. When I have been jealous, I have wanted to know everything about jealousy. When my mother got sick with cancer, I read all about cancer, and about death. When I became vegan, the same. I like to have a bibliography of the things that happen to me. I’ve read all about polyamory and open relationships, and that has helped me understand how I feel.
There are those who prefer not to know.
I like to know. If you don’t know and you don’t know, how can you be in the world? How are you going to make decisions? I dont know. There are painful truths. It’s painful to know that people are dying while you and I have coffee. It is painful that my son does not have a grandmother, which would have been wonderful. But I prefer to know, because if not, I would be fooling around or creating fictions that would hide the world from me.
Speaking of fiction, what does it take to be an editor?
A voracious taste for reading. You have to read everything, in all possible languages, know what is being written, not just what has already been written. Know what is being talked about and what world we live in. And then you have to have confidence in your criteria and give it to whoever needs it to write. In Trojan Horse I have edited authors younger than me. People who, as with motherhood, have no money to write. You have to trust them. Now the writer millennial is better valued than when I started. And that has had to do with the arrival of women to positions of responsibility in certain publishing houses. The woman pulls the women.
We were talking about jealousy. Don’t they devour you when you read something good from someone else?
Yes, jealousy, or envy, is important, but well understood. If I wasn’t envious of something, I wouldn’t fall so in love with something. I like, when I read a manuscript to say: ‘Damn, how could this not have occurred to me’. And that I, as a reader, have the highest level of demand. That, for example, I found in Aixa de la Cruz and Change of idea. But jealousy spurs. I remember finishing reading that book and starting to write a story. That envy that led me to admiration inspired me and led me to want to create something myself.
Do you think the new ley trans erases her as a woman?
No, the other way around. Delete who cannot choose and say who he is. It erases me more that they call me a little poet or that at 30 years old I cannot be a senior editor, that they criticize my family model. That a person can decide on his gender and his life does not erase me at all.
Your husband has written about new masculinity. What is it like to have the new man at home?
Well OK. It is the fruit of many conversations and many fights. That a cisgender heterosexual man, with a certain position in the publishing world, decides to think about that is already a step forward. What does not mean that there is everything at home and that he reaches conclusions that we have reached after much talking and fighting.
Now even C. Tangana sings to the vulnerable man.
If masculine vulnerability is in vogue, that’s okay. He has chosen a word that haunts me: vulnerability. In the end, we are all vulnerable bodies. If I have told you that I believe I am happy, it is because I am aware of my vulnerabilities and, because I have worked on them, I can access happiness. So, since mainstream cultural vulnerability is appreciated, that’s fine, and if it’s a pose, worse for them.
Now is when he tells me that he likes reggaeton.
Well, look, I’ve been obsessed with the Bad Bunny album all year. I am not so interested in the supposed feminism of She perrea alone, but what has to do with sex, jealousy, passion. Bad Bunny is literature, because it thrills like a literary artifact. What is macho? It can, but how much literature is macho. Bunny, in addition to making me horny, has helped me to sharpen my sentimental education.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.