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Taranto Pride was held on 23 July 2022 in Taranto. The parade took us from Piazza Dante (Piazzale Bestat) to Piazza Garibaldi, in 35°C. This was the 3rd of Puglia’s Pride Parades held in its main cities.
As usual a colourful display of people and banners were evident. As is usual with our Pride Parades, Generation Z make up a significant part of the participants. Bold, young, unafraid and LGBTQ+ friendly.
Italy lags behind EU neighbours accepting diversity. Although progress has been made - we have civil partnerships but are a long way off from #equalmarriage - a patriarchal society, the Catholic Church and support for far-right parties make it difficult for many Italians to lead open and authentic lives.
Italy’s macho culture may be stronger in the less metropolitan south, but other factors mean that it is harder for people to be their authentic selves. It is not unusual for young people to live at the family home with their parents and grandparents well into their 30s.
There is less visibility. As with most of Italy, the LGBT+ community tends to keep a lower profile. We’re here, but you have to look more closely to find us.
Even our Pride parades seem to have a different flavour. More queer than LGB or T. Brought up on a Netflix diet of Heartstopper, Sex Education and Elite, Generation Z are much more open, accepting and supportive. Best of all they are unafraid to be visible, whether as members of the LGBTQ+ community or as allies.
Luigi P of Arcigay Taranto and Hermes Academy gets the party started.
Describing themselves as an artist, transgender Italian singer and LGBTQI activist - femmina ribelle, Eleonora Magnifico is a regular testimonial giver at Bari Pride, Salento Pride and Taranto Pride.
Puglia’s Pride Parades follow the same pattern. A lone truck leads the parade with a significant police and carabinieri presence front and rear. We walk through - what seems too often like back streets - stopping off 3 or 4 times for testimonials. This season we have been given snippets of the history of Pride and as always reminded of the importance of our rights. Our right to #equality.
Whilst some looking in might roll their eyes, you do have to understand the society we live in. Fascism put Italy well and truly in the closet, with internment camps for openly gay men. Homosexuality in Italy “didn’t exist”. In Italy, there are only men, was the boast of Mussolini.
And frighteningly we find ourselves on the verge of a far-right led coalition government being elected in snap elections this coming September, with Georgia Meloni as Prime Minister. She would become Italy’s first far-right leader since Mussolini.
Meloni, who has described abortion as a “defeat”, opposes same-sex marriage and parenting. “Yes to the natural family! No to LGBT lobbies!” she yelled at a rally.
“Uncontrolled immigration must be regulated” is another Meloni favourite with equally tough views on foreigners. She is against granting citizenship to children born in Italy to foreign parents, and blamed the country’s failure to make it to 2018’s Fifa World Cup finals on there being “too many” foreign players in the Italian football league.
It’s another of Italy’s great contradictions. Many Italians are, and some of its institutions can be, progressive. Yet the country’s politics lag far behind.
What a joy that Taranto Pride 2022 should take us through the heart of the city and through its main shopping precinct on a busy Saturday evening. Well done Taranto Pride.
More Puglia Pride | Pronti, Partenza, Pride! Our Bari Pride 2022 experience | Sherocco Festival e sarà bellezza | Siamo Tutt3 Pride at Masseria Palesi | Speaking Our Language - diversity wins at Salento Pride (in English) | Salento Pride, Masseria Wave | LGBT+ History Month Italia and podcast episode (in English) | the return of Matera Pride 30 July 2022.
#WeAreInPuglia #GayPuglia #GayItaly #TarantoPride gaypugliapodcast.com on the Internet #PugliaPride #LGBTQtravel #gaytravel #gaycation #pride #pridemonth #lgbtq🌈 #lgbt #puglia #pugliaevents #weareinpuglia #ondapride #cisonocosepiuimportanti #pugliafriendly
More | if you are visiting Puglia for this summer here’s how to choose the perfect base for your stay in Puglia | read our definitive guide to gay Puglia for LGBTQ+ travelers | check out our city guide to Ostuni.