Wife Marcela Gracia Ibeas

Elisa Carmen Sánchez Loriga was born in A Coruña on September 8th 1862. Marcela Gracia Ibeas was baptised in the city of Burgos on June 27th 1867 and lived in an orphanage for ten years until she was legitimated and her parents married.

Elisa and Marcela met in the mid-1880s, when Elisa was approximately 23 years old and Marcela 18, and they were both studying teacher training in A Coruña. After a period of time during which Marcela studied in Madrid, they were reunited when they were both sent to be rural teachers in two small parishes of A Coruña.

In order to be able to get married, Elisa adopted a masculine appearance, invented a past and became Mario, using the name of a cousin of hers who had died in a shipwreck. They married on June 8th 1901 in a central church in A Coruña.

Once their marriage had come to light, they were pursued and fled to Oporto, where Marcela gave birth to a girl. From Oporto they fled to Argentina, where they also encountered difficulties and decided that one of them should marry a man to hide their relationship and stay together. In 1903 Elisa Sánchez Loriga (who in Argentina was known as María Sánchez Loriga) married Christian Jensen, a man 24 years her senior, as a strategy to settle in a home to which Marcela (under the identity of Carmen) would later arrive, masquerading as her sister. With time, and with Elisa’s (Maria’s) refusal to consummate the marriage with her husband, the latter became suspicious, leading him to make inquiries and discover that María and Carmen were, in fact, the famous Elisa and Marcela who had appeared in the press some time ago.

Once again they found themselves in court since Jensen tried to annul their marriage. The ruling was that the marriage, on this occasion, was valid, on account of it being between a man and a woman, and consequently there were no charges against Elisa (María). From this point (1904), the trace of these determined lovers is lost. In 1909 the Mexican press announced the death of Elisa: she had taken her own life. Nothing is known of Marcela.

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  1. http://www.unless-women.eu/biography-details/items/sanchez-loriga.html