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    How I Dealt With My Sexuality Coming From a Very Italian, Very Catholic Family

    Italy can be very conservative, but I wouldn't let it change who I am.

    I realized that the problem was much more complicated than it seemed.

    Woman looking at the Coliseum

    To me, mine was the land of art, pizza and homophobia. Don't be mad at me, I was 10. Now I know there's more to it, like racism.

    You know Italy, right? That country in the south of Europe with a lot of problems spanning from economic ones to racism to homophobia, yet romanticized by everyone else for its art and history. Yes? Good. And you might also know that throughout its history, and to this day still, Italy has been very conservative. A lot of religion, a lot of church, and no extensive knowledge of the world, especially for someone living in the countryside like me. Homosexuality was like a bad word that one shouldn’t say — replaced by a more convenient "batting for the other team." I went to mass when I was asked to, I would recite my morning prayer and try to understand what all those words about compassion and acceptance meant. And yet somehow they failed me.

    It's a clueless world, sometimes. And sometimes the future turns out to be oh, so funny.

    My religion was what I made of it. I didn't need an institution validating it.

    If I had a penny every time a female friend told me that it was okay for me to be a lesbian as long as I didn’t hit on them I’d have two pennies, but it’s weird that it happened twice.

    Was it difficult? Yes. Did I think that things would be easier if I were straight? At times. Would I change who I am? Not a chance.

    Billie Eilish at the Met Gala in a peach gown

    Be that as it may, I'm living my truth. And I don't intend to hide it for anyone.