Gianni Alemanno, Rome’s new mayor, as far as I know unasked, has announced that the city will not be supporting Gay Pride 2008 (yes, it’s that time of year again), on the grounds that he doesn’t approve of sexual displays of any kind, heterosexual or homosexual. This is the standard line now, and really means nothing at all, unless of course he’s also going to suggest that Alessandra Mussolini, or Daniala Santanché or any of the other belles du jour of the right, button up their blouses and climb down off their vertiginously high heels, which have the effect, as high heels are designed to have, of emphasising their buttocks and calves, admittedly secondary sexual characteristics, but nonetheless on display. It isn’t clear though whether this mayoral disapproval is going to express itself as laissez faire disdain or take the more concrete form of a ban. That would be foolish, and unpopular abroad (as if Alemanno cared). It might be the most practical thing to have us all herded into some suitable public space. A stadium, say. Or one of the gipsy camps about to be emptied of their current inhabitants. Or why not simply put us all in the same place – gipsies and gays together? It won’t be the first time, after all. It’s actually rather practical. Gipsies are dirty and horribly untidy, while gays love nothing more than rearranging the furniture and ironing doilies. It’s a holocaust made in heaven.
Some Forza Italia token gay, god love him, suggests that we should do the march in suits and ties. This reminds me of the time I saw a member of the gay commune Bethnal Rouge – oh heady days! – in unusually sober attire. ‘I’m wearing man drag,’ he confided. ‘I’ve got to go to the job centre.’ On the other hand, Rome is worth a waistcoat…
(It’s worth remembering, of course, that Rutelli, the PD candidate for mayor, also withdrew support for Gay Pride on similar grounds. You see how fair I am?)
PS No-neh is the noise Roman matrons make when denying children some small pleasure; it’s accompanied by a wagging finger.