It was November 24 1979, a historic date for the city of Pisa. From Piazza dei Cavalieri started what would be remembered as the first march against homophobia in Italy. An event that marked a turning point in the history of the LGBTQ+ movement, as it was authorized by the police and sponsored by the municipality, that's why the event is considered as the first Italian Gay Pride.
The heart of this important event was the murder of a gay man in the nearby city of Livorno. The tragedy triggered a deep indignation and solidarity within the Italian homosexual community. Rumors of protest spread rapidly, giving rise to homosexual collectives in various cities of the country, including the Circolo Orfeo in Pisa.
The latter was born from a burning desire to create a safe space for the Pisan LGBTQ+ community and fight against homophobia and violence. The members of the circle joined and turned grief into action, working tirelessly to organize the march on November 24.
That day, Piazza dei Cavalieri was filled with about five hundred participants to follow an itinerary that winded between Via Ulisse Dini, Borgo Stretto, Ponte di Mezzo, Lungarno Gambacorti, Via Mazzini, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Corso Italia and ended in Via di Banchi. Among them were members of the LGBTQ+ community, feminist collectives, and people who identified themselves as allies, united in the fight against homophobia and violence. The march was a bold act of visibility, addressing the prejudices and discrimination present in society at the time.
The march was an unprecedented success and left an indelible mark on the Italian LGBTQ+ scene by demonstrating that the community was ready to unite and fight against injustice and violence. It also prompted the government and local authorities to reflect on the importance of LGBTQ+ rights and to take concrete measures to combat homophobia and ensure the equality of all citizens.
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