It dates back to ancient Roman times, when devotees of the god Mithras sacrificed bulls, but the modern bullfight, with the torero on foot, dates only to the 18th century. It is popular in Spain, southern France, and the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America.
The bullfight is a highly stylized ritual, with three parts and multiple players, including picadores, banderilleros, and various assistants, but the star is the matador.
The bull's sex organs are in full view, too. Its penis when erect is 2-3 feet long. And it's often erect as it charges the matador, making you think that it intends a sexual assault.
Thus the spectacle becomes a ritual triumph of civilization over savagery, artifice over nature, complicated by gay symbolism.
But the spectacle has more than a few gay fans. A number of toreros have posed for gay magazines, and in 2009 a European company struck a deal with matador Joselito Ortega to advertise an energy drink called Gay Up on his cape.
Purists were outraged -- not because of the gay ad, because he was lowering himself to product placement.
There are bullfighter bulges on Tales of West Hollywood.
Also check out the anti-bullfighting protests, including the Running of the Nudes in Pamplona.