Happy to Be Different (2014) - full transcript

Madam, didn't the fact that your son
played girls' games

make you think something was wrong?

Yes and no.

In fact, to be honest,
he was quite sweet as a kid

and I saw he was attached to me,

and I didn't tend to buy him
guns or rifles, no weapons.

Back then I thought that he was
a peaceful child, a calm kid.

It was when he was in fifth year
at elementary school,

when I saw him taking my clothes
and putting them on.

So I shouted at him,
and I took him to the health centre

to have him seen by Dr Levi.

She said to me: "Unfortunately
you'll have a terrible life,

if you lived in
an aristocratic environment,

you wouldn't be burdened by this.

Instead, in the working class
environment you live in,

you will always be burdened by it...

In my opinion,
the heterosexual world has been...


It has been excessively harsh.

Excessively... sexist.

The heterosexual world has a lot
to blame itself for.

Especially high up,
in politics, especially...

in culture.

Of course, there is a gay culture,
a high level of culture,

but it doesn't fight
to make itself known.

It should fight harder,
create conflicts and even wars.

There should be a war
between cultures.


The idea of talking,
of telling your father or your mother:

"Look, I'm homosexual"
was unthinkable.

I never told my father.

I told my mother,
but when I was much, much older.

But my mother, like all mothers,
had already realised.

When I got home late. I'd be quiet
so that they wouldn't hear me

and often,
they'd be talking about me.

My mother defended me and my father

wouldn't only oppose me,
but he'd humiliate me too.

He'd say: "You defend him
because he's like you,

because he has a female mentality
which is similar to yours, not mine".

If "homosexual" is something
that is hard to say nowadays,

during the Fascist era,
it was inconceivable!

That word basically didn't exist,

because that thing wasn't allowed
to exist in Italy. So it was denied.

Mussolini worked a lot on that.

He had statues built

that celebrated the male body...

scoring a homegoal.

In my opinion...
this is an idea of mine:

where there's a man,
there's a homosexual too.

In the competitive spirit, in strict
discipline, in the cult of duty

which led many companions of theirs
to fight and die like heroes,

the athletes of Mussolini's Forum
are born.

They constantly look to
their mission of tomorrow:

to be strong
in order to be strong educators.

At school,
Mussolini gave us castor oil,

so that we'd be stronger
when we grew up.

And to the poor
he'd give a quince jelly sandwich.

You know what Mussolini said?

"A tree which bears no fruit
must be destroyed!"

For us others...
who weren't going to have children!

"A tree which bears no fruit
must be destroyed!"

And he sent everyone to the island.
I wasn't born then.

But a man I knew, called Cordero,
told me about Favignana!

The islands of Favignana
and of Ustica!

I remember, you see?

They were free
to walk about the town,

they worked.

The one who was a barber
worked as a barber,

then at night he'd return to jail.

"I want to be a dancer".

"A dancer, you?
That's a woman's profession.

Go work the land I", he'd say.

I said: "Dad, I like music,
why should I...“

He'd say: "No, no, no."

And I danced here, in Via Roma,

and people gave me money.

I've got a photo.

And Franco Franchi was there too.

Franco Franchi would get on one knee
and invite me to twirl around him.

I danced the bolero, at the end,
he'd run to the back and...

Franchi played in restaurants
with his comb, he aped the monkey...

The owner could see that
I was in trouble,

because they mistook me for a woman.

They were air force officers...

And they handed me a note.

So he said: "No, no, the young lady
doesn't understand,

there's no point talking to her."

And they walked off.

On the note it said:
"Can I meet you tonight 7".

Beach bum...


how they live, who they frequent,
how they seduce etc etc...


I... I walk on the other side...

Night without heating.

Take note of the thick wool
ribbed jersey suit,

all hemstitched.

- Is it really hemstitched?
- I'll stitch you up!

How rude...

Fascism sent many of them
to work in Carbonia...

less coal,
miners who were more tired...

Nowadays, at the end of the day,
they have an easier life.

Odd? Grotesque? Repulsive?

One thing is true: their mincing moves
hide the tragic reality

of picking-up, by that I mean
male prostitution.

They go in pairs,
like two fried eggs in a pan,

along with their assistants
the fag-hags...

For you we penetrated the jungle
of the gentle,

the one that in the afternoon
is just a garden of nannies.

Capturing this degrading scene
wasn't easy,

in the romantic setting
of Villa Borghese.

The whispered conclusion
of a contract.

It felt like we were filming
strange antelopes,

sensitive to the slightest sign
of a stranger's presence,

ready to disappear, to hide.

The antelopes of the inverted vice

and a custom built rhino.

The pink gazelles,
like vampires, don't like sunlight.

Daybreak starts to make them nervous,
dawn scares them,

but the trap of cinematic vanity
worked this time too.

We interview them
in rhyming couplets.

"Why do you wander here and there
as the dawn makes the city fair?"

- Well, we wander round...
- Is wandering around forbidden?

Young hustlers, why does the night
make you feel so high?

- We like nightlife.
- Why?

Because you see things
you don't see during the day.

And for people too,
it's better that we're out at night.

Plus, with all these foreigners
that come to Rome,

surely they bring
all this depravation.

Well, yes, it's like Asian flu,
it comes from abroad.

The other mistake,
was made by Minister Merlin...

closing all the brothels!

- The police!
- Run!

These would be two great sprinters
if there were an Olympics for inverts.

- Don't beep, they might be resting.
- Big deal!

The countryside's fabulous!
I'd spend my whole life here.

- Master Roberto!
- Broadbent, how are you?

How nice to see you!
How are you?

- Fine!
- I'm glad.

- This is Broadbent.
- What a lovely surprise for my uncle.

I'll tell them right away.
They'll be ecstatic. Excuse me.

Madam Enrica! Mr Michele!

Broadbent! Goodness knows
how many times he's held me.

Plenty, I bet!

I'd never seen a fag
from the countryside.

- What do you mean?
- Didn't you know? It's obvious.

Why d'you think they call him

- It's a nickname.
- No! Broadbent... he's bent.

It's obvious.

Oh, Jesus Christ!

Blessed Christ. Help us.

And free us all from evil.

Jesus, help me!

It was a quiet place,
there were brothels.

I worked there, as a young man.

They sent me to get condoms...
can I say that?

Condoms, water to rinse
their mouths and teeth with,

and they gave me fifty cents.

I was a cute boy then,

I was very handsome,

with bright eyes,
my eyes were sparkling.

I had blue eyes, like my father.

He was a handsome man,
tall, lean,

fair hair.

I got my mother's hair,
dark brown.

My father, when he found out
about the condition I was in,

threw me out of the house.

My mother looked everywhere for me.

My father kept me...

God rest his soul...
for two days and two nights,

tied up on a horse,

in the stable.

We're butchers, by profession,

the whole clan,

my relatives are all butchers.

We had a stable
under the butcher's shop.

My father kept me tied up
on a horse for two days and nights...

He mistreated me.

Then I was helped by my mother,

who my father used to always beat
the hell out of,

because she'd intervene and help me.

My mother untied me,
I ran away and was never seen again.

My father never saw me again.

I went with the circus,
I swear on my sister's life.

I was there for a year and a half.
I worked with a woman with no arms!

No arms!

People said she was pretending
that she didn't have any arms.

She had no arms,
she had nothing here or here.

She washed herself with her feet,
she put make-up on with her feet,

she performed in her show.

They'd put her inside the tent,
I'd be outside, dancing.

I'd be outside pulling people in.
I'd dance outside.

I'd stand outside and be the barker,
I'd shout:

"Here's the woman with... and so on."

And people would go in.
They would pay and go in.














Call for Raimondo! It's the chief.

Hello? Speaking.

What? It can't be done?

Come on, we're talking about couples,
about living together.

Not all couples are of mixed sex!

No, listen, I think it's something
that's so common now,

it needs to be taken
into consideration.

You can't ignore the fact
that they exist too.

What ambiguity?
It's me who goes to play,

what doubts are you talking about?

Really, I think I'm beyond suspicion!

All right, we'll talk about it later.
All right.

"To Alberto, as a start of things
done only for him, Roberto."

You wrote this to me

on April 16th 1968.

I was working in Iraq,

I was going back and forth
during that period,

and that year we met...

He looked like this and
we decided to set up a home together.

This is your photograph...

It was taken back then...

He's beautiful.

Setting up home with a man

calmed the waters in my family a bit,

but they weren't actually prejudiced.
We'd never talked about anything.

But, in a middle-class environment,
what they feared was a scandal.

So getting together with a man,

setting up home,
that wasn't a scandal.

Evidently it wasn't a scandal
because they kept quiet about it.

Of course, it's hard to know exactly
what other people think,

like the porter's wife or the people
who lived below us.

I don't know, but apparently,

there weren't any problems.

I've never had any problems with sex.

Do you mean that you accepted yourself
or that you didn't accept yourself?

No, in the sense that
I really didn't give it any thought.

I hadn't yet got my head round it.

For example,
when I was at the theatre,

there were plenty of pretty women
who used to say to me:

"Why don't you come and see us 7".

I would say: "I don't have time,
I don't have time...". I was dumb.

Did you go to yard?

There's a warm wind
blowing there today, come on...

Thank heavens I wasn't heterosexual
or bisexual in fact.

If I'd been bisexual they'd have
trapped me immediately with marriage,

I'd have had a family, I'd have been
unhappy for the rest of my life.

Hi, I'll pass you onto Roberto because
I'm with the film people.

I'm happy with my life
and I'm very grateful to this man here

for all this long-lasting
peace of mind.

Do you know what it means
to know you have someone

who will always stand by you?

Peace of mind,

apart from personal
and psychological relationships,

is also because by joining finances,
you're better off economically.

There's more security, at least.

In that sense I can understand
the demand for civil rights.

I'm not bad.

But it would be right
to be able to adopt children too.

- Of course.
- If someone feels like doing it.

We're talking about lesbians too,
who do it more.

But a paternal instinct

can also be valid
in the homosexual field.

It's not the case with us,
but it could be.

- I'd like to adopt a child.
- Too late!

The camp young men, when they arrived
in the shop windows of London,

become real pin-up boys.

In English 'pin-up boys'
means boys you can 'pin-up'.

The citizens of Northern Europe,
who are scrupulous and methodical,

before pinning up a boy with
an uncertain personality in a window,

try, as a last resort, to save him.

Affectionately escorted by his folks,
and their devoted chauffeur,

the camp lad, in his potential state,
is received by a specialist clinic,

hidden away in a pretty corner
in the suburbs of a big city,

away from prying eyes.

The methods of treatment
used in this type of clinic,

real lost property offices
for lost individuals,

hardly ever give
satisfactory results,

but only they offer,

once the specialized staff
has met the patient,

the advantage of a precise diagnosis.
A conclusive one, unfortunately.

But, miss, do you think that...

I'm afraid there's nothing we can do.

I was on the 93.

The 93 was a bus that went from
Termini station to Eur.

We arrived at what are now called
the senators' houses.

Back then the senators' houses
weren't there.

There was a sort of ravine,
into which I went, with this guy.

And without knowing what to do,
I knew what to do.

The guy was disgusting,

drunk and he couldn't even get it up.

The first thing I did was take him
in my mouth.

My uncle, a Bank of Italy manager,
who luckily isn't around anymore,

found out from my doctor,

who was also his doctor,

that I was having
homosexual encounters.

I'd had to talk to my doctor
about diseases, that I'd caught.

It was quite amusing.

My uncle decided to get a policeman
to follow me.

"I know that you're homosexual.
You can be cured.

Go with a prostitute,
I'll pay for it".

I said: "Let's see what happens".
I've always been willing.

This woman, she was unattractive
from a physical point of view.

I mean, there might be some
women that you fancy, right?

But not this one.

I'd visit her twice a day,
in the morning then in the evening.

So I'd have two sexual encounters
a day with this woman.

She lived near Via Archimede,
I can't remember well.

And this woman, of course,

debilitated me from an erectile point
of view, so,

in the evening,
after having been with her,

I'd go back to the Colosseum,
where, obviously...

as I'd always been active until
that moment,

I continued doing the only thing
I was able to do.

The result was a very pleasant period
which ended when my grandma,

who lived with me, she was
my evil uncle's mother,

talked to my parents about it.
About what?

One night I got home and my mother
and father said to me:

"Grandma's told us everything".
I said: "What has she told you 7".

"She's told us that she had to pay
your uncle's prostitute,

who was also
the doctor's prostitute".

I was in this absurd situation,
I didn't know what to do anymore.

I remember,
it was two in the morning,

and without taking anything,
I walked out and left.

Then, I realised I couldn't
have a family in Italy

but I wanted to have a family
that receives family allowance,

that has all the advantages
of a family.

So I decided to marry a lesbian.

A lesbian I'd met through an ad.

- Via Galvani... there's a sign now.
- Yes.

The first sign
that commemorated a faggot...

not because he was a faggot,
but because he was a genius.

Which is much better.

Diversity doesn't offend,
impoverish or degrade humanity.

Diversity is a great thing.

I'd like to quote a wonderful verse

by Sandro Penna that says:

"Happy are those who are different,
being different,

but wretched, unhappy are those
who are different, being ordinary".

I became a member
of the Christian Democrats

knowing that there
were many homosexuals,

first class ones, let's say,
within the Christian Democrats.

Like there were in the Left,
in the Centre and in the Right,

so it affected all areas of politics.

It was a transversal party.

I'd always been very open
and honest with my mother.

I was 18, I said to her:

"Mom, it's best you hear it from me,
rather than from others."

I told her I was homosexual,
and she said to me:

"My dear son, you're free
to do as you please,

what matters is that you respect
your dignity."

Of course, I had no problems within
the ecclesiastic community either,

because I was loved by everyone,

having been a member of the youth
council for the municipality of Rome,

a member of the youth
pastoral committee.

I also had a career as a journalist

which led me to have contacts
with a sector of the secret services.

I met homosexuals there too.

Those members of the secret services

who were homosexual were more willing
and available to work

because they had no family ties.

I was part of the Andreotti
political trend.


was a legendary figure
in the Christian Democrats.

I don't want to insult the memory
of Andreotti,

but for certain there was
the bisexual element.

Those were not my words,
Pecorelli made a public declaration.


The hole cuts the furrow,
and the sword defends it

The homophobic repression
of those times,

was not a total,
aggressive repression,

it was a hidden

and controlled repression.

The plans of the Minister Sullo
don't concern pretty bathers

Sullo, a man with great knowledge
in the field of politics,

was forced to get married because
of his homosexuality.

He was criticized by newspapers
such as Lo Specchio, Il Borghese

and other pseudo-scandalistic
colluding publications,

all orchestrated and fomented,
behind the scenes,

by SIFAR for certain,
presided by De Lorenzo.

As he was an opposer, having founded
the New Left minority party,

he wasn't liked.

Sullo paid the price.

We also lived in an secret way,

because we didn't want to come out
of that condition of secrecy

which allowed us to live
our homosexuality fully and freely.

This is a nude painting I did
of a young man, Christian,

his name's written on it, Milan,
the date... like De Pisis did.

Gradually, it revealed itself to me,
my homosexuality,

after I got married,
after I had two children.

I loved Laura, who passed away,
a great deal,

I love my children a lot,
there's a strong collaboration,

great respect and also something extra
that life has given me.

I remember one of the first times
I went to hustle in a park,

that's the term that was used then.

And Mario Mieli said to me:
"We're not only going to hustle,

we also have to show
some muscle".

Mario was great, he had
a great way with words.

The great invention, the great
emancipation that came out of it

was because you could see that others
had the same problem as you

and this gave you great strength.
You were no longer alone in the world.

When the great De Pisis went...

I take my hat off to him,
I'd take everything off,

When I talk about De Pisis...
they asked him:

"But how is it, during the war,
that you have a German lover?".

A young man
he did a beautiful painting of.

And he replied: "The body has
a different language".

And this is a great teaching.

- Adelina, but...
- Get off, don't touch me!

Goodbye, faggot.


I was fortunate enough to be born

into this world whose founder
was Parthenope,

who is a siren,

where duplicity is already part...

of the bowels of the land.

You set foot in Naples
and you don't even notice that,

walking through these streets,

you become terrestrial and gentle,
just like the city expects.

Before there was 'poof' or 'faggot',

which were words that could be seen
as amiable or sweet,

depending on who used them
to describe you.

If someone said: "Get lost, faggot I",
then it was derogatory.

"You're a real daisy..."
and that was derogatory too.

But the word 'daisy' had a charm
of its own,

because in the culture I practiced,
in the culture of alleys,

it was something that had existed
before I existed.

Therefore, when I came along,

my parents didn't experience
the turmoil of having to say:

"Oh God, what is this new thing ?".

The importation of the word 'gay'
has changed things a great deal,

because it was like when
they put neon lights in kitchens

and everything becomes flat.

Five minutes before people
used 'poof',

and 'bum-boy', 'bender', 'daisy',

then all of sudden
there was a cement.

A cement that took the diversity
out of diversity.

There can be no diversity

when you make everyone be the same
as everyone else.

We found ourselves in this cement

that was more harmful
than cement buildings.

Where were we when...

No, you don't know.

In Porto... Porto Empedocle.

At the campsite, the ladies who did
our laundry would put it to one side.

It was the advent of AIDS.

When things happen, they're not
as clear as they are 10 minutes later.

When they happen, you say:

"Ah, a raindrop! Okay, let's open
the umbrella and keep walking".

Instead, the culture...

the heterosexual culture,

in that moment,
became really inflexible.

It's as if things went backwards
really fast to those periods

we call the dark ages of history,
such as the Middle Ages...

it's not at all true, but nevertheless
we still tell this historical lie.

And they wanted to burn people
at the stake,

because they were the same ones,

the just,
and there was an evil invader

in the righteous Catholic society,

and it was homosexuality.

And for the benefit,
they summoned, as a witness,

someone who
happily minds his own business,

up in the sky where he lives,
to the cause...

They evoked him to make him
be an evil and perverse master

who was once again punishing,
after Sodom and Gomorrah,

these wrongdoers,
these wretched people,

who had brought the plague,
the new plague!

And they caused mayhem,
they lay the blame on others,

on a category of people

and they did not realise
they were becoming sick themselves.

I am a disaster
at occasional flings,

but I've always loved the idea
of them, so I gave it a go.

I'd go to Termini Station,
meaning that district of Rome...

I'd go to Termini Station,
find a spot,

sometimes there was great eye candy,
walking back and forth.

I'm talking about times
when this was done,

let's say, really systematically.

Now the crowds are so big
and multiracial

that maybe young people find it hard.

I think that if you're cautious,
then there's uncertainty,

and it becomes more difficult.

Well, I would find a spot to stand in
and I wanted to do what others did,

I wanted an easy encounter,
a simple one, in the toilets.

But I was held back by a kind of...

a kind of modesty

and I preferred to catch
the person's attention

and take them to my house.

Nowadays it's considered risky
and that's true

because you're bringing
a stranger home with you,

but one you immediately love.

You say: "I'd love to touch him,
taste his body, hold him."

That's how it is,
and you can't get naked in a station,

it'd be a surreal scene,
so you do nudity within four walls.

And this is what happened.

Then, naturally, parallel love stories
could be starting elsewhere,

but the great excitement came from
these encounters

and from the very small percentage
that followed me.

Because one day, I said to a guy:

"Listen, shall we go to my house 7".
"To do what 7" he replied.

So I wasn't his type.
That's it, you go your separate ways.

Gay people are those who remind us
of our love for ourselves

and who celebrate us,
they celebrate man with art.

I don't want to say the usual names
of the great men who have loved men,

and who created an art in which
narcissism reached the highest level.

In Italy film directors are actors
and actors are film directors,

so Pier Paolo Pasolini, the writer,
has become a scrounger.

What seems like good news
is instead a play on words:

"The Scrounger" is the film
that Pasolini shot as a director.

He changed the title
and the film is now called "Star".

It is, just for a change,
a story about young hustlers.

What a life for that film where
scroungers swapped places with stars,

with Pasolini as the director.

Why don't writers just write films,
then directors and actors make them,

instead of making things
so complicated?

Someone who loves a violent life
is instead Pier Paolo Pasolini.

PPP leaves with his latest disciple,
Ninetto Davoli, from Trastevere.

Ninetto is the star of Pier Paolo's
latest film which will be called

"Little birds and big birds".

Pasolini wants to maintain the mystery
about his film,

so nobody knows whether
Ninetto is a little or a big bird.

It's a secret that the director
is keeping to himself.

The inverted "POET".

P. P. Pasolini, or rather Marxist
cinema as an outlet of one's vices.

The bard of the sordid,
of the fetid,

a dreamt young man with a bony
forehead and wrinkly eyelids.

A sensitive, Marxist journalist
wrote in the ICP's newspaper

that he is
"as candid and cruel as a saint".

From my point of view, as I listen
to his smooth, honeyed voice,

I'm surprised to find myself
thinking that, after all,

the story of the robbery in
Circeo might even be true.


Naturalness of the unnatural

Today, our literature is on trial.

It stands trial with Pasolini,
accused of mocking Calvary.

Witnessing for him
are professional pornographers

the traitors of all flags,
a feeble, rascal intellectual class.

Standing trial are a people without
poetry, hedonistic and corrupt.

D'Annunzio was the fast great
voice of poetry and of the nation.


Hot water bottle for Pasolinides


We refuse to get in with him.
We 're not intellectuals,

just an honest pimp
and honest streetwalkers.

I was born in a small town
in Calabria,

called San Pietro a Maida.

It's a very beautiful, small village
in the hills.

The sea is six kilometers away.

There were six people in my family...

My mother, my father, three brothers,
one sister...

we were a normal family,
a simple, poor family.

My brother used to take me
with him on his bicycle,

he'd put me on the crossbar,
to go and pick figs to bring home,

to bring something home,
like my father used to do.

My father was the working type,

he would do any job going in order
to bring something home.

Sometimes, when he had nothing else,
he'd bring back stones.

And my mother would say:
"What will you use them for ?".

He'd say, "I'll find a use for them".

In 1953...

my elder brother came to Rome,
to Borghetto Prenestino,

where my aunt and uncle were living.

They sent for us
and we all came to Rome.

I remember our departure from
San Pietro a Maida.

For me it was a new, strange thing...
A train!

We're going to Rome!

When we arrived in Rome,
we went to my aunt's house,

where we all pitched up
where we found room.

I remember that we were in this house
that was my aunt's

which was a real dormitory.

There was us six, plus my aunt,
my uncle, and my cousin,

all in this house
which looked like a real den.

I went to school
and I went to work...

I worked as a barber, a baker,
a delivery boy,

I did all sorts of jobs
to help the family.

One day, with my friends,
we went for a wander

because that's what you did in Rome.
It was called "bunking off."

We met up with these friends
and went around the suburbs of Rome.

One day we ended up
in a place called Holy Water.

"Why? What's happened?
Who are all those people there?"

They were making a film.

And my brother, who was a carpenter,
happened to be there,

working as an assistant
to someone there.

When he saw me he shouted at me:
"What are you doing here 7".

I said: "Well, I'm hanging out
with my friends".

He said: "Come here,
I'll introduce you to the director."

And he took me over to a guy.
He said: "Ninè, this is Pasolini".

And I look at him, overawed.

He said: "Pasolini,
this is my brother Ninetto"

and Pier Paolo looked at me
and stroked my head like this...

I was looking at him,

and there was something
that attracted me to this person,

I liked him right away.

You know when you just like someone,
for no reason, it's just instinctive.

And I looked at him.

And then to think that this man...

he turned my life upside down.

A wasted life.


Look, look, Pasolini is kissing
a woman!

I always said
that Pier Paolo wasn't normal!

In films, I started playing
some cameo roles,

but just small jobs
to earn some money

and also, obviously,

because I was an odd type, funny too.

They almost always made me play
a funny guy.

And so I started frequenting
the world of films,

where homosexuals
were more at home too... well,

Visconti's never invited me over,
even though he respected me,

as a journalist, not as a friend.

But with Fellini,
I had a great friendship.

He once said to me:
"I'd have liked to have been a faggot,

but I like women too much,
so I couldn't be".

They were all great the days
I spent in Rome.

I met so many people.

I met people like him too.

But, everyone wanted me,

but he found it amusing
because he knew I wasn't available.

At the parties he took me to,
he didn't worry.

There were people who courted me,

but he wasn't worried
because he knew what I was like.

There were lots of people
who later visited me in Calabria too.

I don't remember their names...

but there's something
I have to tell you.

All right, I don't want to say it,

because I'll start saying things
that I don't like.

What else can I say?

Then the trips he took me on
were something that...

for someone from Calabria,
someone who lives in the south,

going to Paris, going to London...

going to Portugal,

going to all these big cities
and to all the film festivals...

To Venice, Cannes, Nice...

I felt like I was in another world.

It's something that, thinking
about it now, makes me sad.

Because look, the things he gave me,

were things I could only dream of,
to be honest.

In Rome, it was easier, obviously,
to be homosexual, to make friends.

I was living the dolce vita
to some extent.

I had become
a professional journalist,

so I had to be somewhat careful.

I was called in to the police station

because a young man,
who I'd been seeing,

had stolen something,
and I was defending him...

So they said to me: "Mr Lane,
you concentrate on being a journalist

and be careful who you hang
around with."

And I couldn't tell them
who I hung around with.

Even policemen
were happy to come with me.

But, you know, in England the editor
of the magazine I was working for,

he had lots of military officers
coming and going from his house,

and then...

all right, they're amusing things,
but in England it was difficult.

A famous actor like John Gielgud
was arrested

because he pulled an undercover
policeman in a public lavatory.

Can you imagine that?

I'd met many people in Rome,

but, they all came here
because I helped them.

Other gay people.

Because I couldn't give them

They would become fond of me first,
but then I'd take them to others.

That's enough, for now.

I think that's enough, no?

We met just after
the death of Pasolini,

and I was sort of abandoning
my promiscuous life,

and so it was lucky for me

that I lived outside Rome.

Rome was changing.

But I remained in Rome
for a few more years

before moving to Calabria,
where, luckily...

my friend will tell you, for me,
about what happened between us.

In the end what was I to do?

He couldn't climb the stairs
anymore and he sold his house,

and I had to take him in.
What else could I do?

This was John story's.

And unfortunately
I grew fond of him,

even though the people
in my house weren't...

but they just kept quiet about it.

This is it, I don't know
what else to say,

if you want to ask me
some questions, I'll try to...

Now, I'm starting to get
a bit emotional.

No one could imagine that the young
tailor Federico Schubert was a father.

Father of a girl of marrying age,
to be clear.

Schubert accompanied
his daughter Gretel to the altar.

With his own deft hands,
he sewed the wedding veil

and of course he designed the dress
and its ten meter train.

Schubert, without his famous jewels,
his famous precious bracelets.

This was his jewel. Moved, emotional,
and why not, a bit worried too.

Standing to one side, Mrs Schubert,
her husband takes her place.

A close friend of the father
of the bride.

In the end, though, everyone agreed:

it was a wonderful wedding celebrated
in a very intimate atmosphere.

The fact I was homosexual,

in my profession,
helped me a great deal.

I'd created an haute couture
pret à porter range.

Pret à porter means making lots
of individual pieces at the same time,

but mine were made one by one.

Everyone went crazy.

The Japanese immediately came
and signed me up for many years,

America and Paris did likewise.

I traveled all over the world
but I never wanted to have a fling.

I could have had one,
I received proposals,

but I always tried to safeguard
myself, and my job,

and I didn't like certain things.
I obviously wasn't cut out for it.

I went to a Jesuit and I said:


in your opinion,

why do I have this tendency?

I can't accept it."

He replied: "What if you'd been born
with a limp?

How would you have walked?

You'd have limped.

But bear in mind

that you have to be very tactful,

you have to be very careful
about what you do,

and you mustn't do
anything obscene....

So that was the advice
from someone who...

I had the courage to go because
I couldn't accept myself, okay?

I'd heard that in Switzerland

they gave you injections

that cured you,

that balanced things out.

I did some research and I was told:

"Listen Moses, don't do anything,

because if in your blood
there are many more female cells,

by having this injection,
they will increase.

Those who have a few are lucky,
but who knows? Nobody knows...

And so I said: "No, I'm not going".

I tried everything!

"Happy to be different,
by being different.

But woe to the man
who is different by being ordinary."

Well, it's like a threat
for ordinary people

but a promise of happiness
for those who are different.

I've been different, and I still am,
because I am still alive.

I have been happy about my nature,
as it was.

That's what's made me happy.

Being different allowed us

to have fleeting affairs,

just like life was back then.

I couldn't bear to be in heaven
sitting on a chair,

like I am here,
in perfect adoration.

No. I'm frivolous, I like
fluttering around here and there.

And how can a queer man not be happy

when he can have a sexual encounter
then immediately leave and run off?

I experienced love, above all,
in friendship.

Sex, instead, is a naughty thing
you do in an instant.

Back then the main doors
of houses would be left ajar,

so every now and again
you'd hide in the shadows,

do something secretly,
quickly, then leave.

That's the happiness experienced
by a homosexual

who isn't obliged
by marriage to go to bed,

every night, with the same person.

How boring...

He pleaded her, not for himself,
but for their child.

She refused, and one day,
tired of his pleading

she left, leaving him
holding their child, me!

My dad loved me the way I was.

My father had had TB for a year.

We went to Lake Como
because the air is more pure,

and he took me with him.

A year of love.

I was happy with him talking to me
as if I were an adult.

When I asked him
where babies came from,

he was able to explain to me,
with simple and plain words,

the secret of nature, of birth.

He believed that everything I did
was right.

My mom said: "Kids are born perfect,
it's society that's wrong."

Because she considered Rousseau
to be a great philosopher

and then she'd been to
Montessori schools

and so she mixed boys with girls.

In the third year at elementary school
a girl became a boy...

"The midwife must've made a mistake",
said my mother,

and to the family that
wanted to move city,

she said:
"No, just change the school apron,

replace the white one,
get a black apron with a blue bow".

"Dear children", she said,
"instead of Valeria, here's Valerio!"

Why can't I find...

that photo as a man.

Here he is! Luciano is here.

Here he is!

Luciano is here.

He was twenty, my dear...
Twenty years old!

In London, they put me in a room

which said 'men'.

Then after the operation
it said 'women'.

"Ah, at last!"

But I suffered a great deal because
afterwards I endured rejection...

But, I managed to get to Turin

and to start living.

And that's where I started my life
as a woman.

I was gorgeous as a young man,

but I prefer myself like this!

Like this...

Like this, the way I feel now,

as an old woman.
But... I'm still me.

A woman.

When you change sex

there are positive things
but also negative things.

So you think of them,
before and after,

because you don't forget what
you were before.

I remember, unfortunately,

when I was intact,

I could feel things
that I don't feel anymore.

I mean, sex was complete before.

Now, let's say it's sex...

that they say trans...

yes, let's say, I go into a trance,

because I just go into a trance.

It's no longer real sex.

You're a woman and that's it,

but sex is dull because
they've taken it away from you.

They've stolen it from you.

Because, before,
when I went with a man,

I felt What he felt, I felt it!

Now I feel the affection,

but I don't feel anything anymore.

I feel annoyance!

Sol insult him, I insult him...

I even insult him but I asked for it.

But it's gone.

That's the problem.

This is the problem.

Umberto Bindi!

"Our concert".

We were talking about
the discrimination that you endured.

That this, this press
that saw your songs only as...

Exactly, I was too involved,
even by my producers.

Yes, after all, the result
was a negative and unpleasant figure.

1961 was a terrible year for me,
for Gino Paoli, for Mina,

and perhaps I suffered more
than the others

as I wasn't as strong,
in terms of character.

Yes, but I, for example, know this
because I continued to follow you,

but what was happening to you.

The story about the diamond...
I do have one, quite a large one.

But I don't regret anything that
happened to me, and what I endured.

The height of extravagance.
A ring said to be worth four million

and that had every newspaper
in Italy talking about it.

An exaggeration of mine that smacked
of exhibitionism, do you understand?

And then, this attachment
to my mother, I can justify it,

even though I don't approve
of mummy's boys.

I loved my mother, she gave me a home
and true affection.

Today, I don't have any diamonds
and unfortunately...

I don't have my mother either.
Sorry, I didn't need this.

It's something which always really
gets to me.

I don't regret the love
I felt for my mother in any way,

even if, in actual fact,
they almost threw it back in my face.

With things like this: "Go to mummy!

Run to mummy I", things like that.

Reflections on homosexuality,
September '98.

They say it's no longer
a controversial topic.

But I still witness derision,
and condescending attitudes.



My manuscript. By Roberto.
I'm Roberto.

Funny, huh?

The time he wrote
to that priest at the RAI...

"Father, forgive me
for writing to you.

I am a young man
and I'm a homosexual,

even though I find this term
hard to digest.

For me, it would be more precise
to say that I'm effeminate,

in fact, ever since I was a child
I've always felt very feminine,

very delicate.

Naturally I was always mocked
by others.

I've always lived alone
with my mother.

We live off our pensions.

I also receive a modest allowance
because I don't work.

I have issues,
but I would prefer to work,

to deal with life,
but instead I live this solitary life.

Sometimes I hate myself."

Yes, because at a certain point,
a young man, especially,

racks his brains, and thinks:
“Why can't I do it 7“.

I don't know... sometimes I go from
feeling love to hatred for myself.

It's incredible.

"I've never had any significant

even though I'm attracted to men.

When I was a young boy,
I would dream about changing sex,

but then I realised that
that thought of mine was absurd.

Some years ago I even tried
to commit suicide

by taking a large dose
of barbiturates.

It was a miracle that they saved me,
but, because of the law,

they took me to
a psychiatric hospital, to study me.

They locked me up with sick people
who were in almost animal-like states.

That was a moral violence
that was inflicted on me,

an abuse, a violation of my personal
freedom that was inflicted on me.

They kept me locked up in there
with the false pretense

that they were going to cure me
of my madness."

So homosexuals are mad then.

"The preachers make speeches
full of rhetoric.

It's a sin, they say.
They are scared.

I strongly believe in God,

but God does not want me to die
a painful death

because of strict prohibitions
created by man.

Perhaps, father, you will not reply
to my letter in your radio show,

because you too will be afraid
of tackling this topic,

or if you do talk about it,
you too, father,

will talk about it disapprovingly.
Forgive me. Kind regards."

Do you want to hear some more?

How wonderful...

In mental hospitals
the only treatments used back them

were electroshock treatments
or lobotomies,

meaning that they would remove
part of your brain.

And still now, this was told to me
by a friend who was a psychiatrist,

he said: "In mental hospitals
there are plenty of men,

quite young, suicides,

for no specific reason.

They would all throw themselves
out of the windows and die like that.

I think about my life, about the fact
that I lost, not my father,

because I didn't even know him,
but I lost my mother.

Being an orphan
is a terrible condition,

you see everyone else with parents
and you are totally alone.

But I think the fact
that I was an orphan,

when I discovered that I was gay,

became a positive factor,

in the sense that I didn't endure
the drama experienced by children

when their parents discover that
they are gay, lesbian, or homosexual.

It's a terrible drama.
I didn't go through that.

I didn't go through that because
I'd endured a drama previously,

and that's the worst aspect
of my life.

Why do you have to be an orphan
in order to be happy being gay?

It's absurd!

But, in our reality,
with this vision of the family,

which still exists,
this is the situation.

And so I'm always astonished

and I can't answer the question:
"Why me? What can I do 7".

When you suffer because of emotional
problems you're always alone

and you never understand
why it's happened to you.

It was October 29th 2010, 19:00.

I had decided to tell my mother,
in short,

that I was homosexual

because that day
there had been a scene

which had led me to reveal
what I was.

While I was walking around the centre
with my mother,

there was a young man
that was obviously gay

and my mother had said
something like...

"Oh, poor thing,
I feel sorry for him".

I don't know why but when she said
that I felt an urge inside me,

an urge that was telling me
to declare what I was.

And so, that day, at 19:00,

amidst tears from the effort,

I told my mother that I was gay.

A year and a half later,
during the summer holidays,

while I was 'liking' some pictures
on Facebook,

the new class at school,
which I was attending,

noticed this and on the group page
they asked me whether I was gay.

Obviously I wasn't afraid,
I had nothing to hide,

I had no reason to deny it
so I immediately told the truth.

That yes, I was homosexual.

Obviously, like in every group,

there's always someone
who doesn't approve.

I spent the whole summer
feeling anxious,

with the fear that upon my return,
in the fall, everything might change.

They joke with you,
they make funny comments,

and this, in a certain way,
makes you stronger

and it pushes you to go forward,
to not give up,

to stand up for what you are,

to not get used to what people say,
that homosexuality is bad.

I find it hard
to find someone special.

I find it hard to make
a move on somebody I like.

If I like someone at school
I can't say to them: "I fancy you".

In the worst case scenario,
I'd get punched.

So I don't know...

We'll see what happens.