Every day I am more and more aware of the privileged life I’ve had. I was born in Canada, a peaceful, friendly country. I was born to speak English, and this is also a lucky thing since it seems to be the Universal language in many corners of the world. I was raised in a good home with a caring family.

Since moving to Italy, I have become more aware of the struggle others have had with things that I have always just taken for granted. Immigration is a big issue here at the moment and for me all I can remember from my 20’s in Toronto, was working side by side with people from SriLanka, Hong Kong and Jamaica and thinking that this was how things have always been.

After participating in the Gay Pride Parade, I became aware of a bit more Italian history. From what I understand, Mussolini was so dead set against homosexuality that he acted like it didn’t exist at all. There were no Italian words permitted to define the gay community and no laws were ever written because the entire country was set in denial of its sheer existence.

So, the struggle is not just to be treated as equal. It goes much deeper than that. It is the fight to be acknowledged too. In fact, the fight is a complicated one because if you are not even to exist then there are no laws in existence to fight. Where does one even start the fight then?

I tried to research this a bit and found an interesting article (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22856586) about the Fascist Regime in the 1930’s. Seventy-seven years ago, gay men were arrested and imprisoned on an island called San Domino. Here is a direct quote from the article: “Fascism is a virile regime. So the Italians are strong, masculine, and it’s impossible that homosexuality can exist in a Fascist regime”.

The word “Femminella” was Italian slang used to describe gay men. Today, gays, lesbians and transgender activists visit the island to pay tribute to the memory of these men who were exiled. If it has taken this many years for the United States to finally acknowledge same-sex marriage, by the way, Canada passed this law 10 years ago, then how many more will it take for Italy?

For the record, I’m not a historian, and maybe I have my facts wrong and I welcome feedback anytime. I’m just a curious person who believes in equality and I have a blog that permits me to write whatever I want, when I want. I am Woman! Hear me Roar! 🙂 Namaste~


About lmarmstrong66

I'm a blogger, painter, writer, singer. For the love of all things in nature and creativity.
This entry was posted in Italian Culture and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Femminella

  1. Love this post my girl. Tried to comment so it would show but having technical difficulty at this end – dumb mother. Here is what I wanted to say:

    Bravo Leah. Agreed you never were a historian but your facts quoted are correct. Homosexuality has been since the beginning of mankind – it was and is the norm. It is my opinion that organized religion and power made it into something wrong. Any excuse to persecute in those days was a matter of sport. In the Caribbean (where I live), gay men are called anti-man and they are not safe here. Lesbians get no attention because they are female and therefore not held in any regard.

    It is sad and frightening to know such ignorance and stupidity are alive and well on this planet.

    Sent from my iPad


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