On June 11th I am going to the “Roma Pride”. Why? Because the Pride is not a carnival. It’s rather a necessary, uplifting and revolutionary event. It’s offered to anyone believing in a fair society and wanting a radical change for the country
It was July 1994 when Rome had its first Pride. Every year since then, the “Roma Pride” has always been the expression of a peaceful revolution connecting everyone who believes in a fair society. In fact, at the Pride there are not only people from the LGBT community: there are tourists who stop, applaud and join the parade; there are heterosexual Italians, who believe that the struggle for equality concerns anyone; there are gays, lesbians and transsexuals’ friends, who come to support the cause; and there are families of any kind, who embody the concept of pure love beyond sexual orientation or gender identity. That being said, the “Roma Pride” Coordination set the date of the Pride 2016: Saturday, June 11th. And I wait that day with trepidation.
The majority of Italian politicians opt for invisibility and decide not to go the Pride. They simply limit themselves to label it as an ‘out of season carnival’. Moreover, they add that the rally is just the ‘spectacularization of sex’. In other words, the Pride is still seen, by a lot of people, as an event marked by vulgarity, provocation and exhibitionism. Is the demonstration a carnival offending people’s decency in the middle of the summer? No, it’s not. The media keep giving a monolithic and even untruthful depiction of the event, when the Pride has noble purposes, instead. The “Roma Pride” is the moment of maximum expression of the Italian LGBT community struggle for the recognition of dignity, equality and freedom. The demonstration is the most visible and intense moment of collective affirmation. It’s a concrete act of liberation from oppressing and homogenizing models caging people’s freedom of expression. So, is the Pride a vulgar carnival? No, it’s not. It’s the celebration of diversity freed from any religious, moralistic and ideological interferences. The offensive comments addressed to the “Roma Pride” demonstrate how necessary the Pride is, actually. The Pride is, first of all, an event sensitizing people against homophobia, prejudices, ignorance and hatred. The annual Pride in Italy is necessary, mostly in the capital, because it’s for the development and growth of society. The demonstration throws down the gauntlet to Italian politicians, who are unable to keep their commitments and to keep up with social changes. Therefore, the “Roma Pride” is simultaneously the antidote to the return of fundamentalism and absolutism, and the engine of possible changes for the country.
With the “Roma Pride”, Italian LGBT associations want to offer a cultural and political response to a society that still doesn’t respect the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights. The core values of a democratic society are equality, freedom and secularity. A democratic society promotes differences; it doesn’t stigmatize them. Nevertheless, Italian institutions are still motionless and deaf to LGBT community’s demands. They still prove themselves to be unable to provide concrete answers to people’s needs. It’s not a chance that Italy is relegated to the last spots in terms of civil rights, compared to the other European countries.
The goals of the Pride are:
- Access to marriage for same-sex couples
- Access to adoptions and to medically assisted procreation techniques for single parents and same-sex couples, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity
- Full recognition of parent-child bond for homosexuals parents
- Protection from any form of homo-transphobic discrimination
- Programs of sex education and gender education in schools
- Information campaigns on intersexuality and transsexuality
- Awareness campaigns and prevention strategies on sexually transmitted infections
I am going to the Pride this year too, obviously, as the “Roma Pride” is the moment of maximum expression of diversity. It’s a day of meeting, dialogue, exchange, growth and joy; mostly joy. The Pride is, above all, a party, a different way of doing politics. It’s the day in which people can remember that they’re all part of a big family. It’s a party in which people can be free to choose and express their own identities, with their bodies and physicality, even outside society’s conventional and repressive standards. Yes, the Pride is a beautiful, necessary and special celebration. The whole area going from Piazza della Repubblica, where the parade starts, to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele gets closed to the traffic. Over 250.000 people participate. Millions of songs, colors, voices, scents and smiles merge. Until late night you can dance in the street. You feel that the capital is yours, just for one day. I am going to the Pride, because I’m for the equality in differences. Diversity is an asset, and not a reason for discrimination. On that Saturday, the Italy I like to live in takes to the streets: the pluralistic, colorful and multicultural Italy. I am going to the Pride, because it’s a great day of liberation struggle. Everyone at the parade becomes subject of his/her own liberation, in the spirit of a collective freedom. I am going to the “Roma Pride”, since LGBTQ+ rights are my rights too. And I want my rights to be guaranteed, and not just simply granted as if they were a favor. I am going to the Pride on June 11th, because diversity should be promoted and not hidden. I am going, because I want to live in a country in which people can choose, according to their own conscience, whom to marry and how to have children. Futhermore, I want to reaffirm the need to remove legal, cultural and social barriers preventing each individuals’ full realization, as the Article 3 of the Italian Constitution sanctions. I am going to the Pride, because one day I want to be proud of my country.
I am going to the Pride. And you?