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2023-06-30 Stefano Basaglia

Pride Made in Italy

The Pride parades - 53 of them this year, in as many Italian cities - are always important, especially when those who should protect, enhance, and expand the rights of the LGBTQI+ community launch a campaign to restore oppressive models. While these diverse parades seem to unite the most advanced and progressive part of society and politics, we must be cautious of utilitarian exploitation. The issue of rights should not be viewed through the lenses of money and convenience, but through those of ethics and justice.



The period that goes from May to June - with some extensions until September - is characterized by many activities (events, initiatives, etc.) related to the LGBTQI+ community. In particular, during this period, LGBTQI+ pride parades take place in many countries around the world, including Italy.

This year, there are a total of 53 pride parades in as many cities: large, medium, and small. These parades are increasingly intersectional (meaning they involve the participation of many different LGBTQI+ subjects and more) and inclusive of different social classes. Moreover, unlike what happened years ago, more and more companies are sponsoring pride events and/or having their employees participate with the company logo (banners, t-shirts, etc.).

In pride parades, we find LGBTQI+ activists, citizens, students, workers, labor unions, universities, companies, associations, and political parties. Some of these parades have received sponsorship from regions (for example, the march in Naples was sponsored by the Campania Region, while the Lombardy Region and the Latium Region did not grant it) and/or municipalities, and at times, representatives of institutions have participated. For instance, the mayors of Rome and Turin (Roberto Gualtieri and Stefano Lo Russo, respectively) participated in the pride parades in their respective cities. Not only that, but the rector of the University also took part in the pride parade in Turin. Among initiatives by businesses, we would like to mention TIM: their headquarters on Corso d'Italia in Rome was illuminated with the colors of the rainbow flag. During the pride parades in Rome and Milan, workers participated with the company logo.

Pride parades are always important, from the initial small ones with a few dozen participants to the 53 parades this year, which have seen and will continue to see thousands of participants. They are particularly important when the context becomes hostile, meaning when those who should be expanding rights, protecting, safeguarding, and promoting them, initiate a campaign against progress and for the restoration of oppressive models. Just think about what is happening these days to "rainbow" families.


These parades seem to unite the most advanced and progressive part of Italian society and politics. In this interclassism and heterogeneous diversity, is it still appropriate to use the ideology that sees economic logic as the dominant one? In other words, does it still make sense to reason according to a logic based on the concept of "it's okay because it's convenient"?


A book by American economist Lee Badgett has recently been translated into Italian, titled "Economia Queer: Perché i diritti civili sono un vantaggio per tutti" (Queer Economy: Why Civil Rights are an Advantage for Everyone). The book's description states: "Fighting discrimination against LGBT people is not just a moral issue. It is also an economic issue: every year, homophobia and transphobia cost states more than one percentage point of GDP. Billions, tens of billions of euros. Queer Economy invites us to look at the struggles for civil rights and equality from a new perspective: that of money." No, we should not look at the issue of rights through the lens of money, utility, or convenience. In this field, only justice and ethical dimensions matter. "It's okay because it's right": this principle must become or return to being the guiding light.

Every deviation is very dangerous. If discrimination were not convenient, within a capitalist system there would be no discrimination. Discrimination has a cost, but also benefits for companies, namely the ability to pay less to those who are discriminated against. If this were not true, we would not have horizontal and vertical segregations, male-dominated and female-dominated professions, professions with specific ethnic-cultural characteristics, and the list could go on.

Businesses, on their own, are not able to prevent discrimination. They need help from laws and ethics. Ethics is a muscle that needs to be trained. Too much focus on economics risks atrophying it. We hope that sooner or later the neoliberal arsenal can be relegated to the attic. In the meantime, Happy Pride to all!


Photo iStock / Aron M8

iStock_Aron M8