Racist insults against a couple of women, who then become homophobic towards a boy who tries to intervene. It happens last Thursday, on the tram of line 3 in Rome. I could have started this piece with the unrepeatable words spoken by that man, but I chose not to, I prefer to express my support to the people involved and to those who published the video-complaint.
Bo Burnham in his latest Netflix Special, Inside, he says it plainly: “Welcome to the internet, what do you prefer? Do you want to fight civil rights or tweet a racist slur?“. Yes, because on the web, for better or for worse, there is everything. In this case, however, the network was useful, because it allowed people to become aware of very serious facts that happen beyond the screens.
We have now entered in the month of Pride and I really can not believe that it is celebrated without still having a law that protects people from unfortunate events like the one that took place on the Rome tram, or the attack that took place in Palermo. The way the Ddl Zan receives blocks and slowdowns is a clear demonstration of an obstructionist policy, a mirror of a conservative and intolerant society. In June, all of this tastes even more bitter.
These days everything is colored with rainbows, yet I can’t help but wonder how many really feel the desire to find out about the real meaning of Pride, starting with companies that pack packages full of unicorns at the speed of light, only to not have not even an LGBTQ + person in their organization chart. I think of social media that in June always adapt icons, gifs and themed emojis, but if you go to report a homophobic comment this is not eliminated because it “respects community standards”. In short, an irony worthy of Burnham’s best songs.
The uprising at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco, the Stonewall riots, Sylvia Rivera’s speech, are events that should always be remembered, because behind every injustice, every goal, there is always a community that moves. We take advantage of the disclosure that is being made in these days to begin to broaden our gaze, inform us and return to the past, to the community. We need the past, so as not to make the same mistakes and to understand that everything that has been conquered comes from the union of people.
Some are still convinced that Pride is useless or that it is too exaggerated a demonstration, a wrong way to get their rights. In my opinion these reactions tell us a lot. There is a long tradition of behaviors that have always been implemented towards those who make us uncomfortable, those who are not part of the heteronormal system. LGBTQ + people, non-binary people, people with non-conforming bodies, don’t exist to make others feel comfortable with certain inner conflictsIndeed, it was precisely being uncomfortable that allowed us to reach certain goals (here I also put myself in it, because I have wallowed in discomfort since I was born, and not just because I always have the worst places at concerts).
What I hope for this Pride Month and the months to come is a major one desire to listen, even by those who, for different reasons, are equally subjected to discrimination. Being part of a marginalized group has taught me that when it comes to oppression there are no hierarchies, there are no exclusions. Discriminations arise from a common matrix made up of prejudices and intolerances, and there can be no struggle capable of really changing the balance if we limit ourselves only to our own backyard.
I am Derek Black, an author of World Stock Market. I have a degree in creative writing and journalism from the University of Central Florida. I have a passion for writing and informing the public. I strive to be accurate and fair in my reporting, and to provide a voice for those who may not otherwise be heard.