It’s the first time that an event of this magnitude has met in the Italian capital for the LGBT community. According to organisers there was a million demonstrators and police quoted half this figure. Banners demanded especially equal rights and the right to love for all.
The weekend referendum required the Europride to be also a figure of the anti-Berlusconi protest. For its ultra-right policy, but also especially for his stigmatism of gays and his “jokes” with homophobic overtones. Two opposition parties also marched in an official capacity.
The other major area of protest was religious, because the Europride stood a stone’s throw from the blessed Vatican. Many voices of the Italian government, the Catholic hierarchy and civil society had called upon demonstrators to avoid any provocation against the Pope Benedict XVI.
(VERY interesting that the gays should be asked not to stigmatise the Pope!)
In fact, participants in the Europride treated the matter with humor and derision. Slogans and banners, not religious as such but ‘tongue in cheek’ stating, “Habemus Gaga,”, and in reply “No Papa, Gaga is!”
(“Habemus gagam” – would be more accurate, but much with less of a meaning…)
Gaga was on everyone’s lips and Gaga was the undisputed star of a high mass proportion like no other. Gaga being the one and only….Lady Gaga, the American singer (real name Stefani Germanotta, aged 25).
In this ancient hippodrome, Lady Gaga was mounted on her favorite horse, that of the homosexual cause. Under her green wig and sporting a Versace dress she denounced intolerance and discrimination against gays and transgendered people. She told the crowd that she is often asked ‘How gay are you Lady GaGa?’ her reply ‘I am a child of diversity’. She praised the audience for ‘it’s great courage’ which she stated inspired her.
The purpose of her speech was to bring together, not divide.
Lady GaGa then performed a mini concert for her crowd in which she played two songs sole on the piano. An eleven-minute show – in addition to her address to the Europride crowds – which, of course, serves to support this article.
Note that our blog in Italian,which is currently under construction, came back heavily on the event. Our editor Giorgio was present on site, where it has greatly shaken his notebook in order to transcribe all his emotions. Giorgio also took lots of photos, we hope that we will be able to offer some soon.
Comment. Suffice to say from a personal note, Lady Gaga has continued to surprise me. From her activist statements with her ‘meat dress’, her song about being ‘different’ to showing up at Euro Pride. She has really captured the hearts of the LGBT community and I feel she has done much for the community in her four years of international career than anyone else in decades of activism. I just wonder what is next up her sleeve….