Text and photos by Bill Wilson
The Italian reads, “What if she was your best friend?” Rome’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia took on both practical as well as international overtones this year. A day long conference on GLBT diversity in the workplace took place. In the evening Rome’s Gay Street near the Coliseum was the venue for the Thoughts and Music Against Homophobia. The passing of Donna Summers was noted during a performance by Miss Tia Architto, a South African born singer now based in Rome.
Emcee Antonella Elia listens as Miss Tia Architto speaks about her native South Africa.
Thoughts were provided by an impressive array of speakers that included government representatives and others who are doing important work in advancing LGBT rights in Italian life.
Paolo Patane, National President of Arcigay, the Italian LGBT group, presents Massimiliano Monnanni, General Director of the National Office Against Racial Discrimination, with a plaque during ceremonies marking the International Day Against Homophobia in Rome, Italy. In Italy there are two national offices that deal with discrimination, one, under the Department for Equal Opportunities of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, is the National Office Against Racial Discrimination. The second is L’Osservatorio per la sicurezza contro gli atti discriminatori ( Observatory for the protection against discriminatory acts) OSCAD, which is under the Department of Safety. This group is specifically tasked wih taking reports on discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as those based on ethnic or racial origin, religious belief, or handicap. Representatives from both these groups spoke to the assembled crowd.
“Gay Street Roma” during the Internantional Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The Via Di S.Giovanni in Laterano is becoming the Castro Street of Rome with a gay restaurant and a gay souvenir shop opening there.