ROME – “We are crazy, but different from them …” MÃ¥neskin, the Italian band that won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, recently performed the lyrics in New York to a raving audience. Few in the American crowd can imagine how important these words are in Italy as the Senate rejected the Zan Bill, which would have instituted new measures to tackle homophobia.
Maybe Italian politicians should walk below this stadium, be among these young people, in the real world where the rights – and the freedom to be as we are, and not as we should be – are recognized. It is not even a problem for them. It’s just a part of life.
Sterile and hackneyed discussions on the genre roam like ghosts in the corridors of political power in Rome. Rather, they should belong to a chapter of a history book, which has become a distant memory.
Maneskin won the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2021
Imago / Zuma
How awesome to see Damiano sing with a necklace that says “sex” and a thong with the Rolling Stones tongue on it worn over his pants. How sad to see Simone Pillon, senator from the far-right League party and one of the fiercest voices against LGBTQI + rights, congratulate another senator, Gaetano Quagliarello: “You gave us a dream.”
What is certain is that Pillon and his gang removed the dream of the invisible, of the discriminated against, of the targets of hateful behavior which hoped to be protected by the law of a nation and its policies.
Fluency is simply not a problem with young people.
From the Bowery Ballroom in New York, MÃ¥neskin showed the world how far there is between reality and politics. So much positive energy in their songs, in their colorful clothes, in their liberation from stereotypes, classifications, cages. So much negative energy in those who keep playing with words and playing down a huge problem. Italy is ranked low in Europe in terms of LGBTQI + rights and very high for the number of victims of transphobia: 36 murders from 2008 to 2016, considering only the cases reported by the newspapers.
Gender and fluidity are just not an issue among the younger generations. It would take politicians to watch a MÃ¥neskin concert on YouTube to understand what world they live in. Maybe it would be enough for them to talk to their own children to get a sense of what’s going on – for example, why so many young people don’t vote anymore.
To understand that the MÃ¥neskin’s refrain – “we are crazy, but different from them” – reflects all of their failure.
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