Problems with our phone lines

Due to our contact centre currently working remotely we’re experiencing some technical issues that may affect the quality of the telephone line. We’re working hard to fix this and we thank you for your patience and understanding. You can still complete our contact us form or email us if you need to get in touch with us.

Share this page

BLOG: What does Pride mean to me? - By Fabio Miccoli

Fabio Miccoli cropped.jpg

I was raised in a fairly traditional environment in which the importance of Pride was continuously put into question, with the majority of people struggling to see why the celebration of LGBTQ+ identities and sexualities should even be a thing. Can’t count all those times I heard complaints at school such as ‘As a straight man, I wouldn’t go around half naked to celebrate my sexuality!’…I’m sure everyone’s familiar with that…

By Fabio Miccoli, Research and Policy Analyst at Network Homes

The obvious answer to such claims is: that’s not the (whole) point.

When I moved to Milan for university – far from my beloved (but quite small) hometown – I had the first chance to approach the LGBTQ+ movement, by joining the local campaigners. As we planned our participation in the Pride month, I came to a full realisation of what Pride means to me.

For the first time I was actively choosing to embrace my identity as a gay man and fully live my life, knowing that, no matter how scary that seemed, I was not alone. I had just joined a great community of people and the very idea of relying on those people for support was reassuring and empowering.

That’s Pride: it is the opportunity to really embrace whoever you are and define your own identity, without feeling constrained by traditional definitions. But it is also a diverse community, people with different stories and backgrounds coming together to demand justice and advocate for equal rights.

Many things have changed since that time in Milan. The LGBTQ+ movements have won many battles across part of the world, equal rights have been recognised and anti-discrimination legislations have been put in place – not for everyone though, and not everywhere, not in Italy for instance.

As I watched the news on TV as a teenager, during those hot days of June, I remember looking at that colourful march across several cities around the world and feeling hopeful and less lonely. Few years later I was joining the movement and doing my part in organising debates, film screenings and Q&As. And then marching and dancing with my face covered in glitter, surrounded by colours and extravaganza, and feeling happy. And that’s why we will always need Pride.