Taranto Pride: Puglia Pride 2016
Taranto Pride: What a dream come true! Yes: My city, Taranto, hosted the Puglia Pride 2016!
Taranto is my beautiful city in Puglia, the region otherwise known as the heel of the boot, in Southern Italy. On Saturday, 2nd of July 2016, a very important event took place. Ffor the first time in its history Taranto welcame on its street the Puglia Pride Parade!
Taranto Pride: What a colorful storm of happiness! I could have never expected such a joyful welcome from the city to such an important event for the LGBT community.
Taranto – Where Scruffy Gios was born
As you should know, I have lived far from my city for almost 17 years! When I left, I was a young, passionate, 18-years old man, I was looking for a comfortable place where to truly express myself. I have to admit I have never had big doubts about my sexuality. In all honesty I always felt like I was attracted by men. But in that historical period, before the new century, (and also at that stage of my personal life), homosexuality in Southern Italy was still a taboo. It was something to hide from the outside, not to mention. And, for as long as I lived in Southern Italy, I did not have the chance to truly experience my sexuality in full.
I finally had the opportunity to get to be ME in a much more open and tolerant environment: Padova, where I got in touch with many like minded people, and where I actively contributed to the gay cause. I already spoke about my experience as a gay activist, and my contribution to the organization of the Padova Pride 2002, the first Gay Pride of my life.
After the University period, and after leaving Padova, I moved to Milan, and then to Madrid, London… no need to say that these cities have been much more open and gay friendly than my city, since ages. Taranto, although not a small town (nowadays, it has almost 200,000 inhabitants) has never been against the gay lifestyle, but it has never showed a clearly open approach towards it, either. As many other towns and cities all over the world, Taranto has always been tolerant and respectful, but never too inclusive.
Pride in Taranto: against discriminations
Taranto Pride, and in general all the Puglia Pride Parades of the last few years, has shown that things are changing. For better. I finally feel proud of my city, Taranto, of the amazing region of Puglia, and I feel proud of being Italian!
After many years of fights and discussions, finally something in the recent few months, hapened. Italian Parliament approved a law allowing civil same-sex partnerships. Very late, compared with many other, even smaller, countries. But the approval of that bill is definitely a sign.
That is just the first step towards complete acceptance. There is still a lot of work to do, in the everyday life, in the schools, in the families, in the churches. To see the thousands of people joining the Puglia Pride Parade along its run through the main streets of the center of Taranto, meant a lot! I could have not thought a Taranto Pride possible just a couple of years ago…
That’s why Taranto Pride was a dream come true! Do you want to come visit my beautiful city? Drop me a line o leave a comment below.
There is nothing to be ashamed of: Be always Yourself! Be always Proud!
Date of Taranto Pride: 2nd July, 2016