Jul 18, 2012

Italian Cultural Attitudes toward Homosexuality in an Age of Globalization (by Patrick Noonan)

In a heteronormative world, the narrative of a sexual dissident can be comparatively characterized as that of a traveler. The cultural norms, attitudes and expectations threaten to be anything but familiar. A heterosexual hegemony challenges the perceived other to adapt and acculturate in a social milieu that may or may not value their presence in society. In society’s gravest failings, a heterosexist authority reduces this traveler to a marginalized role suffered by that of a vagabond. In society’s most honorable accomplishments, a heteronormative culture becomes self-conscious and the social norms of the past are deconstructed to make a home for the weary traveler. With any hope, the weary traveler of the past will be the prosperous cosmopolitan of the future. Italy has been both a gracious and crude host over time. Cultural attitudes in Italy’s history have at times appeared as temperamental as the winds that brought prosperity and prevalence to the peninsula’s ports. Even before considering the “anxieties of anachronism”, one can at least acknowledge the possible acceptable existence of homosexuality in ancient Rome and the Renaissance. In search of an equilibrium echoing justice, contemporary society turns to the promising stabilizer of globalization. Despite its limitations, globalization offers an opportunity for social consciousness and change. Read more...