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Rome’s Gay Village

18 Jun

Gay Bears

These little teddy bears are all over the city at the moment, as part of a campaign for this year’s Gay Village.

Started in 2002, Gay Village has by now become an established and popular part of the Estate Romana (Roman Summer), a city-sponsored initiative with a myriad of concerts and events in outdoor spaces throughout the city, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Gay Village hosts concerts, dance clubs, movies, contests, and shows. Last year there was even dinner theater with drag queens.

Gay Dolls

I’m not exactly sure how tolerant Rome is when compared to other large world capitals, but from what I have seen and heard just from living here, people seem to be generally pretty unfazed and accepting. The Italian parliament here in Rome has Europe’s first openly transgender member, Vladimir Luxuria, who I’ve often seen on political talk shows. And this year’s annual Gay Pride parade, which just took place on Saturday, attracted tens of thousands of people.

Currently the issue of “DICO” (DIritti e doveri delle persone stabilmente COnviventi) is quite a hot button here in Rome. This is proposed legislation that would increase the rights of unmarried couples who live together, including same-sex couples. Included in the legislation are items such as granting stay permits to foreigners in a co-habitating couple (thus cutting down on civil unions in order to obtain a stay permit), and the ability to make decisions in case of a grave illness or death of a partner.

The fact that there is what seems to be a strong gay and lesbian community in Rome stands in stark contrast to the close proximity of the Vatican and the Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, whose doctrine opposes the above legislation and the social acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex relationships.

In any case, it seems that Rome is a generally tolerant city, although I would be interested to hear what people with personal experience have found. Elle attended the parade last weekend and wrote a post about it that you can read here. She had a really positive experience.

A few related links:

Mariomieli Circolo di Cultura Omosessuale (in Italian)
Rome’s main cultural and political center for the GLBT community in Rome, Via Efeso 2A

A list of gay and gay-friendly resources, from nightclubs to bookstores to restaurants, can be found here.

Muccassassina, a very well-known gay night held every Friday at one of Rome’s biggest dance clubs, the Alpheus. (Moves to Gay Village during the summer). Via del Commercio 36 (Metro B Piramide)

Gay Village, June 28-September 9, Parco delle Cascate (Via Cristoforo Colombo, Laghetto dell’EUR)

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17 Responses to “Rome’s Gay Village”

  1. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy June 18, 2007 at 2:34 pm #

    I love how both the sets of dolls are winking and have their legs all intertwined, I guess to distinguish them from other, “just friends” dolls.

  2. Shelley, At Home in Rome June 18, 2007 at 2:52 pm #

    I didn’t even notice that they were winking… good observation there, Ms.!

  3. nyc/caribbean ragazza June 18, 2007 at 4:20 pm #

    Interesting outfits in the first picture. Esp. the bear with the spike necklace and leather band. 🙂

  4. Shelley, At Home in Rome June 18, 2007 at 4:45 pm #

    NYC: When these bears were born in the teddy bear factory, they had no idea they would become famous stars of a huge Rome advertising campaign!

    I’m telling you, you can’t go anywhere right now without seeing these ads. They have effectively plastered the city, they’re everywhere!

  5. Shelley, At Home in Rome June 18, 2007 at 5:25 pm #

    Wait! Did you see that the bear on the left also has a mohawk??!

  6. Gracie June 18, 2007 at 6:25 pm #

    I’m really looking forward the day when a human being is considered for how he behaves and the goodness of his acts, not his/her sexual orientation! And I just LOVE Vladimir Luxuria!

  7. Shelley, At Home in Rome June 18, 2007 at 6:56 pm #

    Gracie: I definitely agree… it’s a shame that people can’t be judged simply for who they are as people, first and foremost. As far as Vladimir Luxuria goes… well, I don’t know enough about her to really have an opinion, but the name is certainly a creative one!

  8. Giovanna June 18, 2007 at 7:57 pm #

    Could they have made the bears any more flamboyant? They only thing they’re missing is pink shoes and a tiara!

  9. Sherry June 18, 2007 at 9:44 pm #

    This is quite an interesting post. While I am glad to know that Rome is a tolerant place, I am not sure if a gay person would be offended by the stereotypical nature of the advertising. (??) Nonetheless, I do like the bear-hawk the first bear is rockin’. I’m not sure about the pron star button.

  10. odessa June 18, 2007 at 10:11 pm #

    Love the mohawk and the winking bears! Too cute.

    And I agree with Gracie. I live in San Francisco and have a lot of friends that are gay and I too wish that someday people would simply accept everyone for who he/she is regardless of his/her sexual orientation.

  11. marina June 19, 2007 at 12:59 am #

    Cart told me about the gay pride parade going on yesterday and that there were alot of people. We missed that. I would have find it interesting to see the carnival.

    We were having dinner at Trastevere tonight at the Larchetto due and were both wondering where you could be at (to say hello and to stalk you 😛 )

  12. Sierra June 19, 2007 at 8:17 pm #

    None of my gay friends wear a ‘porn star’ button. Hopefully, the parade brought some positive awareness.

  13. thomas tucker June 19, 2007 at 8:50 pm #

    I agree- accept people for who they are.
    But that doesn’t mean agree with everything they do. Nota bene.

  14. rf June 20, 2007 at 11:47 pm #

    my girlfriend and i spent 2 weeks in rome in march. we didn’t experience any problems. but, coming from san francisco where anything goes, we also weren’t all over each other or anything. so, not really hand holding in public or anything because we didn’t really know how it would be received.

    we did hang out at the coming out cafe near il coloseo once…

  15. jessica June 21, 2007 at 7:58 am #

    i heard in brazil that brazilian transvestites go to italy and make huge amounts of money.

  16. Marcos February 2, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Muchas gaciars NEN!!!Me han gustado mucho tus palabras! Ahora tienes que seguir leyendo el blog regularmente! Me han dicho que has sacado una SÚPER NOTA en educación física: ENHORABUENA!Un beso del tito

  17. vhvhemiumuo February 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    evKUXW hqwtcfcqlmug

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