On the evening of July, 16th, there was supposed to be a drag queen show in Piacenza. Not anymore, since the municipality has cancelled it. Why? According to the local right-wing politician Luca Zandonella (from the Lega party), the show isn’t “educational.” It’s a veto from the local government, which already on Monday had put a ban on the show. First, by sending an email to the venue, hosted by the youth center Spazio4.0.
In the email, the municipality wrote that “the show doesn’t have any educational purpose, nor for the participants or the community.” To avoid any sanctions, the organizers cancelled the show. But the drag queens will still be there, almost like a silent protest.
Drag queen show Piacenza, the Spazio4.0
This is a meeting and community center, open to anyone. People can meet, participate in activities, and enjoy a safe space. Safe for everyone, drag queen included. The Spazio4.0 replied to the local politicians on Facebook.
“We are also a space that wants to educate and we find it educational to meet and understand diversity. In such a complex society, we want to work for civility, making sure different visions of the world can coexist. Everything without any vulgarity and offense. We find it not educational to share a vision of the world that wants to overcome the others, trying to omologate everyone. And that’s the refusal of living with different cultures and people.”
The goal of the show was to talk about LGBTQI+ themes and topics with irony. It wanted to remind viewers of the 1969 fights against discrimination and racism. The organizers of the Drag queen show Piacenza wanted to bring awareness to the LGBTQI+ issues. But the same discrimination stopped them. Will the same people stop the show business?
RuPaul’s Drag Race Italy
The famous drag queen show is set to debut in Italy on September 2021. The TV channel Discovery has announced the three judges, Tommaso Zorzi, Chiara Francini, and Drag Queen Priscilla. The Italian LGBTQI+ community has been waiting for this show for decades. But not with Tommaso Zorzi.
In fact, there is already an online petition to remove him from the show because Zorzi had a duet with Giorgia Meloni. Meloni is the leader of the right-wing party Fratelli d’Italia. She opposes the Law Zan against homophobia and she never supported the LGBT community. More than once, she said that she’d rather not have a gay son. And what’s gender, a journalist asked. “I never understood what gender is,” Meloni replied.
So, she has never been a supporter of gay and transgender rights. Hence, when the LGBTQ community saw Zorzi singing with her, no one liked it. The online petition against him as a juror is close to the goal of 2500 signatures.
Indeed, the show hasn’t even begun and the controversy is on. Once September comes along, anything can happen. If opponents put a ban on a local drag show, what’s to stop censorship on TV? At least they can perform at Italia’s Got Talent.