London pride 2017 and how slowly things changing around the world

By Alessandro Carosi

London, U.K. July 14, 2017

Last week heading to the Korean festival in Trafalgar square happened to find out that this year the festival was hosted in Hammersmith but instead there was the London pride, it was late so I decided to stay and enjoy the parade meanwhile seeing all those proud women and men I began to think how things changed in the last 40 years and fortunately in better.

I come from Italy where life for gays, lesbians and transgenders still not easy but improving compare to the past, I remember when I was a kid we didn’t even know what gay or lesbian was, nobody would ever talk about it and when I started to hear about it was not in a good way and coming from a Catholic country didn’t really help to see homosexuality in the right way.

My father died when I was only 10 years old and I can’t really remember which was his position about religion but my Mum was a conservative and catholic woman that would go to church every sunday and pray every day, my Grandmother that lived with us was even more conservative and religious and would go to church every day, living in Italy where Catholic was a compulsory subject at school, churches every where and forced by my family to join the church every sunday I became practising, I would go to church, I would pray, celebrate Christmas, Easter and all the others Catholic celebrations.

When I started to know about homosexuality I reacted in the way that a brainwashed Italian would react, having fun, teasing, offending whoever guy that would look or behave a bit girlish, I would not think if it was right or wrong cause nobody never showed me any other reality then the one where I grew up, I have to be honest, religion helped me a lot when I was young cause when my father died it was so traumatic that my mental health paid the consequences, depression, anxiety, difficulty to socialize, loneliness so I have to say thanks to religion that gave me support and hope in that hard time, it helped me to explain the chaos I was going trough an explanation that maybe wasn’t true but was good enough to re-balance my emotions and my life and at finally start a sort of normal life but something was going to happen and it would trigger a chain reaction that would completely change the way I view the Catholic religion, most of religions and homosexuality.

I was 18 years old and I was going to have my first trip outside Italy destination Madrid, Spain, New Year Eve, at the time I didn’t have many friends and the few friends I had could not afford to travel so I went alone that became my way to travel until now, I find that travelling alone is the best way to experience the place you visit, the locals and gives you the freedom to choose how to move around and what to do, that trip started in the worst way, I finished my cash and when I tried to withdraw money with my credit card I was unable to get the cash, there was problems with the card and in the typical Italian way even if the bank told me that I could use it overseas it then turns out that i couldn’t, I had no money and the fastest way to get it would take 2 days with the company Western Union, I have to say thanks to a guy working in the hotel where I stayed that secretly would pass me food from the Hotel restaurant, after 2 days the money arrived and I could begin to enjoy my holiday.

One night I decided to go party in the most famous club in Madrid called ”The Kapital” a beautiful ex theatre on 6 floors, I was having a lot of fun and drunk a lot and at some point during the night I met this beautiful girl, we started dancing together and after a while we started kissing, we decided to move to her place.

We where outside her house but before let me in she told me she needed tell me something, I thought she would ask me if I had condoms but what she said shocked me, she asked me if wasn’t a problem for me to have sex with a transexual, of course was a problem and babbling something I said that I couldn’t do it, I left and went back to the hotel, the rest of my time in Madrid was great and didn’t really think much about that night, I went back to Italy and only after few weeks I started to think about what happened, the strange thing was that instead to feel disgusted at the thought I was actually excited, it would actually make me horny thinking about me having sex with a Transexual, that was scary and couldn’t explain it, how could I get excited thinking about a man that even if looking like a girl it was still being a man ? I was becoming gay, bisexual, what was happening to me? I decided to stop thinking about that transexual and eventually I would forget it, that’s what I thought but wasn’t like this.

My Mum used to own a stationery-newsagent business and at the time when Internet didn’t exist the only way to watch porn was buying porn videotapes or porn magazines in sexy shops or newsagents, I used to steal it and watch it at home when Mum working and then put it back in the shop without that my Mum would see it, in those porn magazines there was everything, boys, girls and transexuals, I couldn’t resist and watching those magazines with transexuals would get me horny but with this strange feelings thoughts began to come in my mind, thoughts about God, Catholic religion and how come if being gay or lesbian was wrong according to God and the Bible I would get excited about men dressing as a women ? How was it possible that God would make you born as a man liking other men or born like a woman liking other women and then punishing you ? It didn’t make any sense, those thoughts brought many more that made me began questioning a lot of other things about what Catholic church would teach, one year later the answer arrived when I realised that wasn’t God to say that, it was human beings to say that, it was human beings to create religions and making them in the way they were, a God that will punish you and send you to hell for your sins, send you to hell for the rest of your life, who if not human beings would make something like this, my relationship with the Catholic religion was over, it helped me a lot when I needed and I will be forever grateful for that but I couldn’t be agree with its teaching anymore.

I never spoke to anyone in Italy about this thoughts I had cause I was afraid to be judged and left alone, at the end of the day most of the people I knew were brainwashed and not easy to understand something like this, I kept it for myself until one day I told it to a girl I knew but after that I never heard about her anymore, I don’t know if the reason was what I shared but I’m quite sure it was.

Italy its changing so much, nowadays new generations are becoming less and less religious, Catholic church had to start to get their Priests from other countries and this detachment from the church is opening Italians mind, immigration in Italy from other countries and Italians moving to work overseas cause the recession is teaching a lot, after I left my hometown in 2006 and went back 8 years later I was really surprised to find out we have a gay bar in town, that’s amazing, there is a lot of work to do but the seeds have been planted and it will grow bigger and bigger.

When I lived in New Zealand happened to be in relationship with a Transgender from Thailand, I didn’t plan it believe it or not when I met her I was sure she was a girl, the story between us have been short but taught me something really important, I learned to hate labels, we tend to label them, we call them transexuals, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, I believe that we are all male and female just in different percentage, we are human beings, love is the same in whatever way you show it, when walking on the street I don’t see anymore Vegetarians, Vegans, Catholics, Buddhists, Muslims, Gays, Lesbians, Transexuals, I’m seeing only Human beings looking for someone to love and being loved.

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