- Posted August 25, 2014 by
Beyond controversy over Italian candidate to Mr Gay World, why supporting Nicola La Triglia still matters
Today, August 25th, Mr Gay World starts in Rome. The 32 candidates are all good looking, however my heart and my vote go to Nicola La Triglia, the Italian candidate, here's why... An Italian gay female perspective.
The LGBTI movement, as La Triglia often underlines, was born out of the healthy anger of those who decided it wasn’t fair anymore to victimize a group of people (with all the subcategories it contained).
It’s with the same healthy anger – that of self affirmation, of self love, of dignity - that people who support Nicola La Triglia, wether gay, straight, trans, bisexual, male, female or in between, are protesting against canons of beauty.
Indeed why not questioning the status quo ? In the eighties we had tall, sculptural, big chested female models… that was until the early nineties when a petite, waif type caught international attention… her name was Kate Moss ! Right in time, the ’90s were years of change, standards of beauty were evolving. They actually are in perpetual evolution. What is it that beauty provides ? Social status ! Then, what if a person with an acceptable face is glamorized, airbrushed, has reputation and already has social status ? Well from the moment 100 people say that person is gorgeous, nobody will analyze further. Common assumption will be that the person really is hot! And that’s the power of reputation.
Didn’t dramaturgist Gabriele D’Annunzio say that being bald was handsome and that any handsome man in the 20th century would have been bald ? Guess what ? D’Annunzio was bald had anyone at his feet.
If we're against discrimination and differences, why we still need Mister Gay in 2014?
The reason we still have a Mister Gay is the following: Mister Gay is not, and has not to be a simple beauty pageant. Otherwise it wouldn’t even exist in the first place. Indeed, gay people are human beings like anyone else. It is of course, a matter of visibility, of defying stereotypes. It is also a social and political matter. Mr Gay has to be first and foremost, the face and the spokesperson of the LGBTQI community. Italy, due to it’s recent History (was born as a nation only in 1861) compensates its lack of federation with a complex bureaucracy and a highly politicized culture. Also because our pre-federal past too was all about politics, strategy and little reigns that miraculously survived. That’s how between a war and a conspiracy, we gave birth to thinkers like Machiavelli. For cultural reasons, sexism and homophobia are very rooted in our institutions. In such a context of tension, we cannot waste time of speech on a person who has little to say. This is and should be the only reason why we still have a Mr Gay. And in this way, I trust Nicola La Triglia.
Some criticized La Triglia’s message : it seemed too "easy" and naive. That was without reading all the insulting comments we’ve seen in the media. From ultra-conservative newspapers which spit on us as a movement, to those inside the LGBTI movement who condemned Nicola for daring to expose himself, the young man went through a lot. Challenging beauty canons is far from being easy, far from being naive. It exposes one to psychological violence. It requires wisdom, psychological steadiness and emotional strength. However, there’s no other solution since self-love is the only key to freedom, well being and empowerment.
Some criticized Nicola as a character. Some babbled that our candidate was only a social climber who didn’t find any better that directing a group of young gays, lesbians and transexuals. As far as I’ve known Nicola I’ve felt that his focus and drive in life are inspiring and heart-warming. The care he provides to those who surround him, sometimes to the point of self-sacrifice, if sometimes rewarding, is also time-consuming and occasionally draining. If he is surrounded with people who love him, there’s a reason ! And sorry to his detractors, but with a Ph.D in law, one doesn’t need to be much of a social climber to be considered a capable person. Yes, ambition is beautiful !
Good luck Nicola !
Elisabeth A. Beretta
Elisabeth A. Beretta