The Equalization of Diversity in Times of World Pride

by Tommaso Cartia


As I write this, New York City is getting ready to celebrate the World Pride 2019. This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots, the gay bar in the heart of the West Village, where in 1969 the LGBTQIA+ community rebelled against the oppressive and homophobic policies of the police who broke into the bar every evening arresting the patrons, guilty of having committed the most terrible crime: being themselves. Today, costumes, legality, liberality, presidencies… have certainly changed, but on the wave of historical cycles and recycles it is hard to understand if we are at the end of a cycle or if we have rolled back to its beginning. The island of Manhattan is a pulsating, living organism where diversities, of ethnicity, of gender, of social extraction, coexist, they have to coexist, necessarily. But to what extent does living together mean being together, to what extent does it mean to belong, to feel part of a single though multifaceted society? Sometimes it is the city of New York itself that sends you subliminal messages, that communicates to you its feeling, its criticality, its crisis. A few days ago, I was at a show, a dance was being performed, with the dancers interpreting scenes inspired by the theme of gender identity, all of the sudden the woman seated next to me, exclaimed: “beautiful! but I wonder … what now? What will happen now that we have partially achieved the equalization of diversity?” A valid point, because being equal may not necessarily mean being the same, neither in a biblical sense, nor in a juridical, sociological or psychological one. Indeed, can this equality, so hardly achieved, generate monsters? And what is happening in our Italy, and how are the Italians living abroad, representatives of the LGBTQIA+ community feeling this historical, turning point that this World Pride is? I asked this to some of them who generously shared their point of view, without alignments, without policies, without preconceptions. And I had the great honor to ask about it to a Pulitzer Prize for literature, a genius writer who inspired so much of my writing: Michael Cunningham, who is not only a proud homosexual man living in N.Y.C. who investigates through his work the many nuances of our egos and gender identities, but he is also an Italophile, a profound connoisseur of our country that is a second home to him. Not only themes of pride and globalization in this issue – there’s also space for the excellent beauties of the Puglia Region that is conquering New York and the Americans more and more. Two examples of this are the fashion designer Domenico Vacca who dresses the Hollywood stars with Italian elegance, and the Puglia in Rosé Association that is delighting the Americans, gifting them with intense enogastronomic experiences thanks not only to the exquisiteness of their wines but also to the spectacle and glamour of their events. A colorful, sparkling, intense and explosive summer to live freely, thinking that there are always, “many different ways to be beautiful” (Michael Cunningham – A Home at the End of the World).

LOCATION: NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò

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