Sample Essay on Love and Homosexuality in Italy

Love and Homosexuality in Italy

Since time in memorial, love as an aspect of life, has been revered by many people; while there might be different types of love, romantic love seems to receive more attention in contemporary media. Romantic love brings two people together that may or may have not known each other; for this reason, it remains the single most unifying aspect of human life. But just as other qualities of humanity, love is depicted differently among different cultures; to some, especially contemporary western culture, love ought to free two people from the troubles of life. In some parts of the world, love is thought of as progressive in the sense that it can grow between two people that may have to marry first. In such cultures, arranged marriages are common and couples do not worry about falling in love first before marriage as they perceive that they will eventually learn to love each other. With emphasis on the West, in this case Italy, love has a more liberating feeling and people are not controlled by culture on who to love or how they ought to love. Societal norms provide for two people to meet each other and fall in love; afterwards, they are free to make decisions that concern them and their love life. However, ancient Italian love seems to have been more conservative as opposed to modern Italy, where two people could sense that their love is not enough, and they could seek other people. Love, conservatism, and modernity in Italy have resulted in some effects among the gay community in the country. In this regard, it is necessary to examine how these aspects continue to blend and how they determine the lives of straight and gay people.

Italy is predominantly catholic in religion, and it is difficult to come across people that do not have a background convoluted with Christianity. This means that most traditional Christian tenets that are held sacred by Italians remain deeply rooted in their culture, as men and women have defined gender roles, in a conservative country (Bertone and Marina 64). Subsequently, it is almost impossible to find a woman approaching a man for a romantic escapade, as it is believed the man should be the one to make such a proposition. By contrast, things could be different in larger cosmopolitan cities such as Milan and Rome, where the younger population has been exposed to popular culture and they have their own thoughts about such matters. The youth express more freedom in such matters; however, most southern cities and small towns remain deeply conservative. Italians are naturally known to be affectionate in their friendships and their romantic relationships. It is commonplace to find friends from the same sex holding hands regardless of their heterosexuality. Their affectionate nature is expressed in their greetings as a kiss on the cheek is not viewed as out of place (Rutherford 615); as a people, Italians are generally loving, and this transcends to their romantic relationships. Another common feature of Italian love and romance is that unlike the rest of the world where love might be searched through the internet alone and dating sites, Italians believe that one can find love anywhere in society, be it on the beach or any other public or private places. Italian films have depicted love in this way and they also reveal other aspects that are considered important.

The Last Kiss or as known in Italy as L’ultimo bacio, narrates the story of a couple in love that goes through challenges in a bid to remain a couple. When Giulia announces that she is pregnant, her boy friend Carlo, with whom she has been dating for three years panics and keeps it secret. When at a random wedding, he meets a younger woman, Fransesca, and the two share alot about their lives; eventually, he falls to her embrace and the two have seual relations, which proves to be the ultimate challenge to Giulia and Carlo’s relationship. It proves difficult for Carlo to convince giulia of his faithfulness and the picture ends wioth the two in a state where Giulia cannot trust Carlo anymore. Predominantly, this film highlights the freedom that the younger generation in big cities enjoy, where they can stray into other relationships thyat could be based on lust as opposed to love. Betrayal, lust, and romance are siome of the key themes that emerge from the film, and they seem to depict the nature of love in italian society. When Carlo seeks forgiveness from Giulia, he tells her the truth about his relations with Fransesca, hoping that Giulia will accept him back and they could start a new life together. This feature might be common in other places in the world too since infidelity has been estimated to be commonplace as oppopsed to the past times. In the same way, the film outlines the nature of italian love but also points to the fact that women from the younger generation seem to disregard gender roles. This feature is portrayed when Fransesca appears to be seductive in the manner in which she interacts with Carlo; despite Carlo’s earlier reservations, he falls to her temptations and probably his own earlier desires.

In another film, Loose Cannons or Mine Vaganti, two brothers who are set to inherit their family’s business meet after one has been living in Rome for a while. Tommaso has been studying in Rome and while he was away, he met his fellow youth and he has learnt that for him to be free from the burden he feels inside, he needs to come out and tell his family that he is gay. On the other hand Antonio, Tommaso’s brother, has been living with the family in their home and he has been groomed to take control of the family business by their father Mr. Cantone. When they meet another family on a dinner party, Tommaso decides to come out; however, before he does this, Antonio reveals that he is gay, to the surprise of many. On hearing the news, their father collapses and is taken to hospital; it follows that Tommaso refrains from revealing his sexual orientation to his family as he fears his father’s condition might worsen or even die. He then takes control of the family business but he is constantly faced with the decision, especially when his boyfriend from Rome visits him and his family.

Italy has not outlawed homosexuality and many people support the LGBT community; however, the country does not have a law that protects this community too. In this regard, the LGBT community seems to be in a confused state as they are supported by people but they do not have the right to marry legally. As aforementioned, the country remains predominantly tied to the Roman Catholic Church, which seems to have a great influence in the government and society (Bertone and Marina 61). For this reason, it is almost impossible that the government would consider special laws that will protect the gay community in the country. The film Loose Cannons or Mine Vaganti, paints the picture of the issue in contemporary society, especially in those cities and towns that remain conservative. Tommaso finds himself in as dilemma that he may have not planned for; as he sees his father’s reaction to the news by his brother Antonio, he is torn between living with his mental burden or condemning his father to death and his family to shame. Despite his yearn for freedom, he seems to have acquired his position as the controller of the family business after his brother was shun by his family. Mr. Cantone’s reaction to the news point to the fact while many Italians, especially in big cities might support the LGBT community, a good number of the elderly still hold their reservations. In the same way, the younger generations seems to interpret love in a different way in the sense that two people of the same sex could fall in love, as explained by Tommaso’s boyfriend. In view of this, the traditional perception of love seems to be changing, and the change is witnessed in the larger cities as opposed to smaller towns (Rutherford 615). Ultimately, Italian love remains, affectionate in nature, and while traditional reservations may be evident, homosexuality seems to benefit from the new era of attraction.

Works Cited

Bertone, Chiara, and Marina Franchi. “Suffering as the path to acceptance: Parents of gay and lesbian young people negotiating Catholicism in Italy. Journal of GLBT Family Studies 10.1-2 (2014): 58-78.

Rutherford, Emily. “Impossible Love and Victorian Values: JA Symonds and the Intellectual History of Homosexuality.” Journal of the History of Ideas75.4 (2014): 605-627.