Last week in Italy the discussion about homophobia hit the headlines after a 17 year old young man wrote a touching letter to La Repubblica, the most important newspaper of the country. I think that the letter is really worth reading, so I would like to share it with you. Here’s a translation into English:
this letter is perhaps my only alternative to suicide. The reason why I decided to write this letter is what happened in the cathedral in Paris. A man, from the right-wing political area, spectacularly committed suicide on the steps of the famous church to protest against the law passed by the French National Assembly allowing gay marriages .
In spite of the Christian morals, I believe that suicide is an act deserving respect: a person who decides to give up the most precious thing he has for his ideals deserves our respect and admiration. Nevertheless, in spite of this consideration, I can not help thinking that what happened in Paris is a vain act committed by a foolish person. The others keep on living even after we die. We are doomed to disappear, even though we rewrote the history books. If you die because you want to stop the society which is trying to evolve and become more civilized, it means that you are dumb and you are overestimating by far your power.
In reaction to the French historical law, the Italian Parliament has immediately declared that it supports the idea of equal rights for all. A promise which is much vainer than the act of a foolish. We all know that Italy is one of the most conservative countries and that it does not want to look as the most progressive. Imitating or, even worse, pretending to be as such is just enough. The Italian society shudders just at the thought that two persons of the same sex can love each other: because it is against nature, it is against religious morals or simply because it is a form of stupid hatred – stupid enough to be common in our country. We often forget that allowing homosexual marriages does not necessarily imply giving children to “abnormal” couples: it means letting two people love each other. This is what marriage is all about, especially in the Catholic mentality. So why such a fierce battle?
I am gay, I am 17 years old and this letter is my last alternative left to suicide in a barbarian society, in a world that does not accept me even though this is the way I was born. The brave ones are not those who commit suicide when they are almost 80 years old, but those who survive to adolescence with such a heavy burden, well aware of having done nothing wrong but listening to their feelings. It is not about vices or perversion. Not all of us were lucky enough to be born eterosexual. If only there was less discrimination and more sympathy or Christian piety, everybody would stop hating people just because they, for some unknown and unfair divine will, were the lucky ones. I am not asking the Parliament to pass a law allowing homosexual marriages – I am not that foolish – I just want to be heard.
A so-called civilized country can not abandon some of its members along the road. It can not afford to do without a law against homophobia, a scourge leading many young people to commit suicide in order to find their freedom, the freedom that they lost when they started breathing. There is no wrong in being what you are. The real mistake is living pretending to be different. We are not demons, and we were not touched by the devil when we were born. We are simply unlucky and part of a changing destiny. But we are proud of it. The only thing that we ask is to live.