Celebrating Spirit Day on DeviantArt with a purple-tinted twist on my old Sleeping Beauty piece [link]
This is dedicated to
And all the other, countless, nameless princes and princesses who won't be waking up after true love's first kiss because intolerance, hate, bigotry and stupidity destroyed their lives.
I'm a straight male, born and raised in the most catholic place you can think of (a small town near Rome, Italy). I'm lucky because I have a wonderful family that never stopped me from becoming my own person despite the pressure from the small-minded community I live in. I'm majoring in Art History and all my life I've been given the opportunity to open myself to all kinds of people and cultures. Through the years, mostly because of what I study, I've known many gay guys and girls and, being kind of an outcast myself for other reasons, the problems of the Italian LGBT community have always affected my point of view, through my friends' experiences. I kind of hate the term "straight ally" because the word "ally" makes it sound like a war, which is never a good thing. But when a good friend of yours, a nice kid, tells you of how he was thrown out of his own home at 17 when he came out to his folks, and how they never spoke to him again, and when you see him and his boyfriend having to spend Christmas away from their bigot families, not even able to afford presents for each other...well, it makes you think. The concept of "ally" starts to sound strangely appealing.
And it's not only that. In Italy we're currently living in a right-wing government that's destroying any good that had been done so far towards acceptance of all races, religions and orientations. It's a government that's slowly turning the younger generations into mindless drones without any respect for the dignity of the human being - younger generations that are responsible for hideous hate crimes that have been affecting the country, and especially Rome, during the last couple of years. Reports of teenagers attacking gay couples on the streets are almost a weekly appointment on the news, and during the last summer the absurd bigotry of those same people that voted for the current government - TWICE - reached new heights: they actually had gay kissing BANNED from some beaches. And that's only what happens in the general population, the remarks about gay couples that come from right-wing politicians or even the freaking Pope are not even worth repeating.
Thank you DA for allowing me and other people who feel strongly about this issue like me to express what we feel through art and thanks for all the purple on this special day.
REMEMBER, this is not only about homosexuality and homophobia - THIS IS ABOUT ALL OF US, all those who have ever felt out of place, all those whose lives have been made difficult simply because we live in a society that teaches us that it's OK to be rude, cruel and violent to people who are different.
WAKE UP PEOPLE, we are all passing through life momentarily - LET'S MAKE THE BEST OUT OF IT, life's really, really too short to be filled with hate.
And I'm totally wearing purple underwear today.
Sleeping prince [link]
Title: lyrics from Sleeping Beauty (1959)