Turin, the Italian capital of civil rights

June is pride month and we want to celebrate it by talking about Turin. The city was not only the first historical and political capital of Italy, but it is also the Italian capital of LGBTQ+ civil rights. The city has played a central role in the spread of LGBTQ+ movements in Italy since the 1970s.

It all began in 1971 when a group of Turinese friends decided to promote a sit-in in San Remo where a national congress of psychiatrists on sexology was underway. For the first time, a group of gays was exposing themselves publicly in Italy.

From that action the movement "Fuori" (Italian Revolutionary Homosexual Unitary Front) was born. It was the first Italian gay movement, based in Turin. With the first Italian gay movement, also in Turin, the first gay magazine “Fuori!” was born, and distributed throughout Italy reaching a distribution of 8,000 copies.

Also in those years, three historical exponents of the gay movement (Angelo Pezzana, Enzo Cucco and Enzo Francone) organized the first football match between gays and heterosexuals at the stadium with the participation of thousands of people. Thanks to their activity, the first gay disco (the Fire) was opened, and nonviolent actions were organized in Moscow and Tehran against the homophobic policies of the communist and Islamic regimes of those two countries. All with the support and help of the Radical Party, with which a federation was formalized in 1974.

For the first time homosexual exponents were candidates on the Radical Party lists and, first case in republican history, Angelo Pezzana from Turin was elected deputy.

In Turin, in 1978, the first gay pride was held inside a club and in 1979 the first Pride in the Piazza, complete with an institutional meeting with the then-mayor Diego Novelli. After the Pride, were organized two public conferences in Italy on homosexuality and homophobia.

At the end of the 1970s, the first private radios were born in Turin, including Radio Radicale where the so-called 'sexual minorities' managed their own radio broadcasts. The hugely popular program the Other Tuesday by the Turin-based Paolo Hutter, also a historical exponent of the gay movement, who later became the first declared gay city councilor and later Councilor for culture at the Municipality of Turin, remains unforgettable.

In 1980 Angelo Pezzana and Enzo Cucco created the Sandro Penna Foundation for the development and dissemination of cultural activities on the theme of homosexuality and to preserve and disseminate the archive funds (the library, the newspaper library, the video library) created by the OUTSIDE ! ".

In collaboration with the Abele Group, also in the 1980s, Davide e Gionata was born, the first movement of gay believers founded by Ferruccio Castellano, to comfort the suffering of homosexual believers and discuss faith and LGBTQ+ topics.

In 1982, the first Italian help and support center for transsexuals was established at the Mauritian Hospital in Turin, where since then it is possible to have sex reassignment surgery for free.

In the same year, thanks to the Turin activist Felix Cossolo, the first gay campsites were created in southern Italy and the first Italian gay guide was printed with all the gay meeting places in each city.

Also in 1982, thanks to Ottavio Mai and Giovanni Minerba, a different and new review of LGBTQ+ cinema was thought of, which in the following years became one of the most important events on this topic worldwide: since 1986 the review, which today is called "Lovers Film Festival - Turin LGBTQ+ Visions" is an appointment supported by the Province of Turin, the Piedmont Region and important organizations national and international. In 1990 it obtained the recognition of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment.

In Turin, in 2005 and 2007, there were the first cases of recognition of political refugee status for gay people from countries where homosexuality is punished with a death sentence or jail.

In 2006, led by Enzo Cucco, Lambda was born, an association that is carrying out projects to support elderly LGBTQ+ people in need of support and protection.

The Chair of History of Homosexuality has been active at the University of Turin since 2017 and a proposal to open the first Italian museum dedicated to history is under discussion at the Municipality
homosexuality, aiming to combat gender discrimination and intolerance and raise awareness of these issues.

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