Romeward Bound – RomaPride 2007, Part the Second

And from here on out, it’s essentially visual!

Along the parade route:

“All Kinds of Families”
© 2007, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Equality, Dignity” and that third word that seems like it doesn’t make much sense here. Look for “Part the Fourth,” where I’ll try to explain how “secularism” wound up as part of the queer-rights platform in Italy.
© 2007, 2013. All rights reserved.

“Good Thing We’re Lesbians!”

“Queer Forever, Fascist Never!”
The Open Mind Center of Catania (Sicily)

There is, as they say, a story here. In March 2006, during the campaign before the April elections, Alessandra Mussolini, a long-time politico of the extreme right, was invited to appear on the talk show, Porta a Porta (Door to Door) along with other candidates. Also present was Vladimir Luxuria, then running for Parliament on the Rifondazione Comunista ticket.

Luxuria (who was elected the following month) is the kind of hero we could use more of: she was among the organizers of the first RomaPride in 1994 and has been active in LGBTQ and progressive politics for years; in addition, she’s a tranny and, in a country known for closets as big as all outdoors, never had to come out of the closet because she’s never been in.

Vladimir Luxuria at Roma Pride, 2007.

At some point, during a heated exchange on the Porta a Porta show, Mussolini was deep into one of her favorite political schticks, inveighing against illegal immigration, with views so extreme that another candidate on the show, Antonio Di Pietro, called her a fascist. Since Mussolini is the granddaughter of Il Duce, and since she is, after all, a fascist (“And I’m proud of it!” Mussolini shot back), Luxuria remarked, not unreasonably, that she found someone who was proud of being a fascist rather troubling. At that point, Mussolini quipped, “Meglio fascista che frocio!” (Better a fascist than a faggot!)

If you read Italian, you can find account of the whole, charming encounter online.  If not, the above is the gist of it, though I can’t help but translate this tasteful exchange:

Throughout the interview, Mussolini insisted on referring to Luxuria as “Mr. Guadagno.” At one point, Luxuria said, “If you’re calling me ‘Mr. Guadagno’ because you’re trying to insult me, it’s not working.”

Mussolini to the host: “I don’t want to offend this gentlemen, but tell me what I’m supposed to call him: him, her….”

Luxuria: “Call me ‘they.'”

“Froci sempre, fascisti mai,” then, is a response not just to Mussolini, but to the general political climate in Italy. But it’s more than a slogan, it’s a reality, as graffiti that started to appear around Rome a few days before the parade made clear:

From Il Manifesto
Gay Holocaust/Raus

— Does it seem fair to you to be victimized by someone else’s fear?
— I suffer from claustrophobia, but I’ve never hurt anyone.
— Actually, that’s not what I was talking about.

These two guys (or so the story goes) went to city hall in their town and presented an application for a marriage license. Of course, they were turned down, but they and their friends still seemed pretty happy.
© 2007, 2013. All rights reserved.

© 2007, 2013. All rights reserved.


Posted on 16 June 2007, in Italy, Italian, Italians (in that order), Mostly Photos and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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