Thursday, March 19, 2009

Harvey Latte

With i ragazzi off, retracing our steps through Switzerland, Trofie Wife and Martello returned to our daily routines, grateful for the visit and change of pace. I relished the opportunity to take in an afternoon flick in English in Genoa, my second time doing so, first time alone. It was a rainy Thursday and thus the perfect time for a cinema break—and an excuse to take the Metro from the train station instead of undertaking the usual 15 minute walk (especially since it was a rare occasion on which I didn’t have my umbrella in my bag; I had decided not to turn back to grab it, even though it appeared that precipitation was afoot). When I arrived at Piazza De Ferrari (you should know that Genoa’s subway has less than 10 stops; it’s really more like a theme-park trolley in its practicality), I hopped on the up escalator. Within one minute, the escalator stopped moving. As if on cue, all of the riders (myself included) looked around quizzically to try to figure out what to do. And then, again in tandem, we all started hiking up the stairs. So much for modern conveniences.

As you can likely guess from the subject heading, I went to see Milk. I left in tears, which increased my sogginess, since it was raining pretty hard on the way back to the station (this time I walked, since the ticket machine appeared to not be working, and I wasn’t sure how to ask what to do and just wanted to get home). The Thursday afternoon movie crowd is pretty thin, and the majority of viewers are actually Italians seemingly annoyed by the dubbing of American films/wanting to practice their English comprehension.  However, I did have the opportunity to eavesdrop on one English-speaking pair (a rare event in Genoa). They were not a couple but each in their own relationships and were discussing their partners prior to the movie’s commencement and during the lengthier-than-usual “intermission” during which the projectionists change the reel. (Trofie Wife isn’t sure if American movie houses have made greater technical strides in switching reels or if the Italian projectionists’ union just figured out a way for their workers to get additional concessions for their artform… .) Anyway, the older of the two men was explaining the different frustrations that he and his partner encounter in Italy and the United States. While in Italy they do not yet have any official standing as a couple, they do have healthcare. However, in the United States, while they could register as domestic partners (or possibly marry/enter into a civil union depending on where they live), the man’s partner would not be eligible for healthcare there. Presumably in his mid-50s, during the intermission the americano noted to his Italian friend that he remembered when the historical events depicted in the film occurred and sadly, how far we still have to go in the struggle for equal rights for LGBT people and families. Not yet a twinkle in anyone’s eye when Anita Bryant and friends were waging their hateful campaign, I could not overcome the sense of eeriness that 30 years later, the exact same arguments were being waged all over the country and LGBT folks and their supporters were being forced to counter them, once again.

With a little Googling, Trofie Wife has just learned that Genoa will be hosting Italy’s Gay Pride celebrations this June! A different city gets the honor each year and this year—the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall, the Web site notes—our fair city will play host (we’re taking reservations now). Check out These events could potentially be fascinating, and Trofie Wife looks forward to documenting them. I’m particularly interested in seeing what, if any, pushback there is from the Vatican and the country’s conservatives. I have a hinting suspicion that even the most close-minded persons within Italy are nowhere near as bad as the ignorant forces working vehemently to undermine families in the United States (yet again, that American work ethic puts us on top every time…).  Stay tuned.

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife

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