Roma Pride 2010 – Every Kiss a Revolution

Emperor Trajan - A gay couple is a family too!
The path to Rome's gay pride parade this year has been even rockier than usual. Whilst we have sadly become used to indifference or even outright opposition to the event by politicians - Italy's Minister for Equal Opportunities Mara Carfagna, for example, in a statement that sets her well and truly apart from her fellow Europeans, said she was against marriage between gay couples in a recent interview in the magazine Famiglia Cristiana (Christian Family) – this year the opposition also came from within the gay movement itself. At a time when homophobic attacks are becoming all too frequent and the introduction of civil partnerships for gay couples and serious legislation against homophobia in Italy would seem to be mere pipedreams, political in-fighting and bickering between different factions saw a boycott of the Rome Pride march by longstanding gay rights organisation Mario Mieli yesterday, with an inevitable impact on attendance figures which were only in the tens of thousands.

Those of us who feel it's better to stick together as a minority group regardless of our individual political beliefs for the good of the larger cause may have been fewer than usual, but the atmosphere was as noisy and colourful as ever, as the parade snaked its way from Piazza di Porta San Paolo to Piazza Venezia taking in the tourist hotspots of the Imperial Forum and the Colosseum on the way. A brief thunderstorm and shower failed to dampen spirits and if anything came as a welcome respite from the blistering sunshine.

Here's hoping that next year's pride will be a celebration of real changes in this country and will once again be a pride parade for everyone.