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Italy celebrates its second ever LGBT History Month - Here's why it matters

Why April? The history of Italy’s LGBT movementThe genesis story of LGBT rights movement is often told from an American lens, with particular attention granted to the 1969 Stonewall riots.But Italy boasts its own LGBT movement, with a proud and distinctive history.While one could make the case that the earliest example of queer resistance dates back to 15th-century Florence - when a group of young men decried Savonarola’s anti-sodomy persecutions - the timeline of LGBT activism in Italy has a clearer starting point in the 1970s.On 5 April 1972, around forty demonstrators from various Marxist gay liberation movements stood outside a medical conference in Sanremo, protesting against homosexuality’s classification as an illness. A landmark event, it led to campaigners picking April as the month in which to honour Italian LGBT history.Indeed, despite Italy’s deep-seated parochialism and with the looming aegis of the Vatican, the country has seen certain glimmers of progress.Italy, for instance, elected Europe’s first openly transgender member of parliament, Vladimir Luxuria, in 2006, and its 1982 law on sex change recognition was deemed particularly progressive for the time.Moreover, queer communities are embedded within certain parts of the country’s complex social fabric.

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