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Engaged lesbians face abuse, discrimination on college campus in Italy

Engaged lesbians face abuse, discrimination on college campus in Italy

two women stand together with their arms around each other in a crowd of people

Two lesbians engaged to be married have said they are the victims of ongoing abuse and discrimination.

Known only as GB, 27, and LS, 21, the pair said they have no respite from ongoing taunts about their sexuality. They even face from some of their friends in group chats they belong to.

The pair study psychology and cultural mediation (the study using data to analyse the cultural difference between people) respectively. They are students at the University of Padua in the northern Italian region of Veneto. Both women live on campus in the Copernicus Residence.

‘When they came to tell us that our displays of affection were too noice, we laughed, then it degenerated and we realized that this was an attack on us, because we are lesbians,’ the pair told media.

Padua Pride

The women spoke at a press conference marking the launch of Padua Pride on 1 June. The pair were chosen because this year’s Pride theme will focus on women and feminism.

Padua is also the birthplace of Mariasilvia Spolato, the first woman to publicly come out as lesbian in Italy.

Organisers plan to link ‘traditional’ LGBTI issues to feminist issues such as overcoming discrimination and the fight against gender stereotypes. They also acknowledged the need to ‘ join forces because the continuous attacks on civil rights affects
both women and the LGBTI community’.

‘Certainly this year’s Pride has a strong feminine and feminist declination,’ said Padua Pride spokesperson, Mattia Galdiolo.

‘We cannot fail to realize that the attacks we receive as LGBTI communities are of the same matrix, if not of the same origin,
as those received by women.

‘Therefore, it will certainly be a LGBTI Pride but also a feminist one, who will know how to respond clearly to those who want to limit their rights but also to those who promote intolerance, hatred and fear of differences.’