Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Gay.sud (6 years later...)

Dear Mr Rachid O. and dear Mr Cooper,
first of all sorry for my bad english. I’m speechless after reading your novel. I mean well impressed, so that I can't restrain myself anymore.
You wrote a lot about your life. So let me tell you something about gay life in Italy now. Let me tell you that here in Italy there is a southern "domain". This is what I thought some months ago.
But let me start from the beginning.
After that I abandoned F. in a such cowardly way (that's my own only way), the only woman I really loved in all my life (still today I do believe that's the only time I've really loved spraying all around me such one-shot Love) I moved from Rome to Milan; before starting my five-year story with my dearest M., well, precisely at that time I come nearer to the most direct access to the italian gay world, deciding to put myself to the test, but always still walking wrapped up in guilts, anxeties, and all those feelings you already know.
Test was entitled: "Can you really feel with yourself" ? Mmh... Sorry, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it simply was:

"Please, answer to the following questions:
  1. You're gay!"
"Wait-wait-wait!", I thought. "Holy shit! This is not a question".
No, it wasn't. It was the right answer indeed.
My first move has been surfing on gay websites. In fact which are the most common ramps to enter the magic gay world? Where can a gay guy head for, when he feels alone, being sure he’s misunderstood, but willing to fight for having a happy well-balanced life, desiring to satisfy his own needs, every human being's own needs, like building a life made of love, sex, confidence and sufferings to be spent (hopefully) together with the right person?
At that time iternet was one among those access ramps, so that I turned in that direction. Start!
I registered the most disparate gay websites (gaypitipì, gaydpititipà – even abroad! Like if I could fly away into the arms of my mysterious crown prince -, gaycosì.it, gaycosà.com, etc…), always editing that profile - more or less it's always the same.
I’ll tell you the truth : I’ve never been a regular “chatgoer”, whatever chat it is. Still today I am not able to enter a chat and live through a virtual conversation with several – not always hidden – identies, who maybe already estabilished a contact many years before I'd suddenly burst into the chatroom only because I suddenly realized I’m gay! According to me starting to chat on internet is not far cry from the effort finalized to convince a well-established group to accept a new possible member. I refer to those groups (I mean people in the flesh) you run into, for example when you move to a new city and try to start a new life. And yet it was through one of the gay websites pointed out here above that I met M., who staid by my side five years long, showing endless patience and a priceless affection. I engaged and this is why, as it frequently happens, I didn't need to look for nothing else. I completely stopped accessing those "elite websites", even to exchange only banal opinions about the weather or life.
Six years later... Here I am again. Alone. I come back to my "elite websites" moved by curiosity. Okay, okay: a sudden loneliness attack moves me believing I can't have any chance of salvation anymore. I've done my best to recover my several passwords and nicknames.
Click! Ops, I'm on-line again... Small green quivering spheres announce again my presence to the rest of the virtual population, who probably give not a fuck. But it doesn't matter.
I'm quite surprised and pleased discovering a huge quantity of messages received during last six years and never read, just accumulated meanwhile I was far from the web, because I was taken up by my story with M.
I start reading them one by one. I start from the oldest one and immediately realize that the website I'm visiting is the only one showing not only that I'm a gay guy from south Italy, but even the exact name of the city from where I come. So, now I understand why I received so many messages from other homosexuals, same age and not, who want to know me: they are all from south like me! But unlike me they omitted their own origin from their on-line profile, revealing the truth only in their messages to me. It's clear that reading the name of my city they saved time looking for their crown prince, the nearest one. The one to met (live!) as soon as possible, avoiding long trips through the italian peninsula.
But soon, from the original happiness rising from this huge quantity of e-mails I fall into a well full of discouragement and sorrow. All those guys are asking me for few minutes of my time in order to have something like one-night stand. It seems to be not important if I am a pretty guy or not, still it's not important if I have a job, or if I'm a crazy ripper. The most important thing is that I'm alive. Being alive means to have a working arse and some holes more on my face not only to breath... What can I reply?
"Unfortunately I am not in the south anymore, I live in Milan now..."
Most of the people who wrote me live still today in the south of this country, where I often come back in order to see my parents. “Is it possible?”, I ask myself. Did I really believe that south of Italy is an exception to the rule? In fact, how can it be that my native city is the only part of Italy where most of the people is flatly straight? How can I be so naive?
Next question is: “So, where do all these gays go, when I come back home?”. How can I be so blind that I never thought there are some gays in the south as well?
"If I'd opened my eyes in the past, now I would be married to a fellow countryman” I think seriously. I had simply to look for… Ohmmygod, my greatest dream could be real now... It was not necessary to move to northern Italy to find Love. I'm telling the truth: you don't know how many times I dreamt of the man of my life, having a passion for typical dishes like me, loving dialect like me, being a fan of the south like me! You don't know how many times I dreamt of a life together with him on Ionio's shores, in the middle of wide fields, smelling sweet olive trees. Of course, my job there would be a problem, but the chance to live at home together with my southerner crown prince, sharing all what I mentioned here above, would be the dream coming real.
And yet... I am quite sure that all men in the south are married or already engaged to wonderful swarthy, shaggy southerner girls. So, how could I hope to have a man for me? Of course the situation today is different. A little bit different. Even though six years can seem a too short break.
Unfortunately I think that still today there is a big difference between north and south Italy. I would be glad to be contradicted, if you can prove that I am wrong. But when I meet a gay or a lesbian here, in Milan, walking on the street, dancing in a disco, chatting on the web, I can speak about everything with them. In short I can say I really know them. F.i. first questions are: "Do you like jazz music?", "Do you like skiing?" etc... I mean questions coming from people without any urgent need to satisfy.
On the other hand, questions like: "Would you like sucking me?", "Do you mind if I suck you?" (Please!), "Let me know when you come back here if you're interested into a hard rendezvous" etc... come only from southerner boys, especially from Calabria (according to my personal experience only).
Please, try to understand me. I don’t think there’s something wrong in this, or amoral even. All we ask such questions, or all we would like to ask people we like for the same things. At this point perhaps you agree with me if I say that there’s a difference between southerner and northerner people approaching unknown possible lovers. I don’t think it depends on the notorious exuberance and niceness of people from south.
So: where’s the likewise famous southern gallantry got to? Is really there a whole southern domain, something like “Gay.south”, where courtship between men won’t show itself, from where chivalry has been banished? Why? Maybe all we, gay guys from south, are short of that emotional education giving the chance to let us know our crown prince? Is this the cause of our escape from south to north Italy, or abroad? Is it possible that the same emotional education should be sufficiently provided to straight people first? Who should bring these men up? On the other hand it would be enough to tech gay guys to be fearless, to feel not ashamed, to ignore glances and quick insolent looks, and to blame possible threat.
Nonetheless don’t you believe that having the chance to live by our crown prince’s side, at home, in the south, our inner tranquility (the one distributing the necessary energy to change our degree for example) will increase?
We don’t believe in the power of such inner fulfillment anymore (supposing that we believed in it before).
I miss my sea, shores where I grown up, but one more time, six years later, I bow to the northern society and I recognize that my biggest mistake has been to stay immobile when I still lived in the south. I was not only blind, but I was wrong being not honest with all my countrymen, with me first.

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