Thousands more Shlain dance down the stage for Gay Pride in Rome

by Antonella Copari

Armochromatically perfect. White sweater and blue jeans for Eli, white jeans and matching tank top for Maria Elena. Usually the leader of the arch-enemy Democratic Party and Italy’s number two Viva parade together on the streets of Rome on Gay Pride Day. Rainbows and rousing processions as per tradition: gladiatorial helmets with wings, dresses so bright Kendall Jenner would be jealous, even Venus copying a ‘Government’ T-shirt by Botticelli ‘Open to Love’ ‘ reads.

How many? One million according to the organisers: “never seen so many people”. It goes without saying that they tend to exaggerate a lot. 40 thousand according to the police headquarters: here too the exaggeration, this time by default, is more than laudable. They dance, blaring to the music, and not just the songs that they have adopted as their anthem over time – Rumor by Raffaella Cara or Furore by this version’s godmothers Paola and Chiara – but also a much less common refrain. : Bella ciao. Corresponding to the ‘Quereresistance’ version of the 2023 event. Slogans? many ‘pro vita’ (“bastardy” being the softest) and many anti-government: ‘less Meloni, more rich people’, ‘less bundles, more fags’, ‘Rocella and Meloni get off my balls’, ‘less Rocca, more Rocco’.

On the other hand, the controversy is music to the ears of the opposition exponents, who number in the dozens. The centre-left is present, animated by a unitary inspiration such as had never been seen and will rarely be seen again. Not only are PD and IV represented at the highest level by their respective women, but Action, + Europe has Emma Bonino and Riccardo Maggi as well as the 5 Star Movement. Even if Giuseppe Conte does not appear, the Pentastellati do much more: they are only supposed to appear with the flag in the wind “because it is important to give visual support” clarifies Senator Alessandra Maiorino. But the organizers do not agree and demand that they be taken down. Not that the parties have given up on cultivating their backyards: Allie Schlein — who dances wildly under the stage — doesn’t give up on the hype. “The Democratic Party will always be in places of protection and promotion of LGBTQ+ rights. We have a right that backs us on these issues”. Smiling at him, Bocchi did not answer himself: “If there is a law on civil unions in this country, it is thanks to Renzi’s government”.

In the foreground are representatives of current and past institutions: the case of the moment is the return of patronage by the President of the Lazio region, Francesco Rocca, who also reiterates that “he supports LGBTQ+ rights”. His predecessor, Nicola Zingaretti, said: “The sector was here to stay. After ten years, in which it has always been, I continue to be there”. He is accompanied by the capital’s mayor, Roberto Gualtieri, fresh from a heated controversy over the transfer of the birth certificates of two children born abroad to two pairs of mothers. In fact, the authority looks to challenge them: “We will contact Prefect Giannini”, promised FDI. “These transcripts are made throughout Italy – Mayor relaunched – Those who ask for the prefect’s intervention are wrong”. In fact, the majority keep their voices low, perhaps also because they are not interested in creating a stir around Pride. Maurizio Gaspari is almost bureaucratic: “rights for all, but increased protection for the natural family”. A much more furious Licia Ronzulli: “Hearing slogans are real intolerable.”

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