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First Italian woman to come out in public dies at 83

Discussion in 'The NF Café' started by Saishin, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Saishin Hajimemashite

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    Mariasilvia Spolato, hailed as the first Italian woman to come out as gay in public, died this week at the age of 83.

    Spolato passed away on Wednesday at a nursing home in Bolzano, South Tyrol, where according to the newspaper she spent the final years of a fascinating and tragic life.

    Born in Padua in 1935, Spolato emerged as a gifted mathematician who graduated with honours. She went on to move to Milan, where she taught at university and authored text books, as well as becoming involved in the student movements of 1968.

    In the early '70s, she was among the founding members of the Italian Revolutionary Homosexual Front or, as it was known by its Italian acronym, FUORI – 'Out'. She wrote poetry, essays and a book setting out her vision of gay rights.

    But the moment that would reverberate throughout the rest of her life came on March 8th, 1972, when hundreds of people gathered in Rome for women's day celebrations and protests. Spolato attended with a placard that bore what was at the time a shocking message: "Homosexual liberation".

    A press photographer took her picture and her face appeared on newsstands around Italy in the magazine Panorama. Her employers took objection: Spolato was sacked, deemed "unfit" to be a teacher.

    "One day, with an excuse, they sent me packing," she would tell decades later at a homeless shelter. "My political engagement bothered them."

    Her family felt the same and, without the salary that had afforded her independence, Spolato found herself with nowhere to go.

    "I lost my job, bit by bit I lost my money, and then everything started. I slept at friends' houses, because I could no longer pay my rent. I roamed here and there, from city to city. My home had become the trains. Conductors and engineers from half of Europe knew me. I laid my head wherever I was. I ate whatever I could get."



    Spolato eventually settled in Bolzano, where according to she spent her time between the streets and public libraries, hoarding whatever books and newspapers she could find. When gangrene set in to one of her legs she was taken to hospital and transferred into the care of homeless shelters, where she would live for another two decades.

    The transition wasn't easy: the newspaper describes Spolato resisting staff's efforts to help her, defiantly telling them "I want to be free!" In her later years, however, Spolato's carers said that she softened, occasionally sharing parts of her past. She returned to one of her passions, photography, and entrusted her beloved books to local libraries.

    "Silvia won everyone's hearts," photographer Lorenzo Zambello, who took a final portrait of Spolato last year, news agency.

    Spolato remained estranged from her family to her death. Her funeral is expected to be organized by the town council. "It would be wonderful to have many people come and pay their respects," Alto Adige's Luca Fregona. "To thank someone who paid too high a price for all her courage."

    Addio a Mariasilvia la prima a dire "io amo una donna" morta a 83 anni in casa di riposo a da anni viveva per strada

    — luca fregona (@lucafregona)

    While Italy has come a long way since the 1970s, activists say it remains . Same-sex marriage is not legal – couples can only enter civil unions, which provide fewer guarantees on parental rights – and cases of , and continue.

    The situation seems unlikely to improve under Italy's current government. One of the first acts of Minister for Families and Disabilities Lorenzo Fontana – a conservative Catholic – was to declare publicly that , as far as the law is concerned" and express his preference for "natural" families with one mother and one father.

     
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  2. Saishin Hajimemashite

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  3. D.Va .

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  4. Mali ส็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็ส็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็

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    rip. im getting anxious just thinking about the level of ostracism she faced when she came out.
     
  5. Kitsune `★.。・:*:・ Super Moderator

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    Seems like she was an awesome person. Love that photo. RIP.
     
  6. Mider T VM Zombie

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    This is phrased badly, it should be "publicly" not "in public" so I don't get the mental image of a cave woman stepping out into the sun for the first time.
     
  7. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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  8. wibisana still newbie

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    RIP shee was lucky
    Unlike Turing
     
  9. wibisana still newbie

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    Still sucks tho. And prolly death would be better. IDK
     
  10. Alwaysmind 总是心神

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    That is a rather confusing title, had to read it twice to make sense of it.
     
  11. Amol Chief of Wisdom

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    Her life was a hell.
    Hopefully she gets well deserved peace now assuming there is afterlife.
     
  12. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    Also obviously they mean she's the first in modern Italy, but I have to ask: were there no lesbians in the Roman Empire?

    Given how the Romans literally took over the island of Lesbos, along with the rest of Greece and its culture, I have to think there must have been cases of more-or-less public female homosexuality.
     
  13. Mider T VM Zombie

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    There had to be. Didn't Romans have frequent orgies?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  14. makeoutparadise I will have my revenge

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    Wasn't being gay no really a problem for pagan rome?
     
  15. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    AFAIK in the Greco-Roman world they didn't classify people into different "sexualities," but cared more about whether you were the penetrating party or the penetrated party.

    For a man being the penetrating party was always good regardless of if you're penetrating a woman or a man. It showed dominance and masculinity.

    Conversely for a man being the penetrated party meant you were feminine and a sissy. But it could be accepted as "natural" if the person you were getting penetrated by was someone of higher social standing than yourself - for example your teacher or superior officer. (There obviously wasn't such a category as "workplace sexual harassment")

    For a woman, the assumption was that she was naturally always the penetrated party since she lacks a penis. Any femdom penetration accomplished with the aid of fingers or sex toys would have been a special "unnatural" case that didn't alter her socio-sexual position. Therefore a lesbian relationship can not be described in the category of penetrating/penetrated and is therefore neither good nor bad.

    Importantly I don't think there would have been any jealousy between a bisexual woman's male and female partners because lesbians can not impregnate one another and therefore the woman's husband can not get stuck raising somebody else's child.

    My impression from reading Plato is that for both genders homosexual diversions were not considered infidelity. Some of the characters in Plato's dialogues are implied to have wives at home but still fuck men during their philosophical gatherings.
     
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