It was a minor change — simply dropping the ‘s’ from a pronoun — but it was a majorly subversive act.
Singer Ricky Martin last week briefly changed the lyrics in one of his love songs from “she” to “he” while performing in Morocco. And while the sentiment in itself isn’t surprising (the singer has been openly gay since 2010), it made a political statement in a country where being gay is a crime.
“It’s the way he makes me feel/ It’s the only thing that’s real,” the singer croons, in a video that’s posted online. “It’s the way he understands / He’s my lover, he’s my friend / When I look into his eyes it’s the way I feel inside / Like the man I want to be / He’s all I ever need.”
Under article 489 in Morocco’s penal code, being gay is a crime punishable by imprisonment. While there is something of a gay community in the country, arrests do happen. Just a month ago, six men there were jailed for being gay.
Martin was performing at the 13th Mawazine World Rhythms Festival, which takes place in Rabat and is presided over by Mounir Majidi, the personal secretary for King Mohammed VI.