Italian fashion legend Donatella Versace took a bold stand against recent attempts by Italy’s right-wing government to diminish the rights of LGBTQ individuals.
Her impassioned remarks came to the fore on Sunday night during Milan Fashion Week as she received the Humanitarian Award for Equity and Inclusivity at the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards.
“Here in Italy, it has never been more important for us to champion minority voices. Our government is set on taking away the rights of individuals to live as they wish,” Versace declared in her acceptance speech, which she shared on her Instagram account. “We all must fight for freedom.”
As the vice president of the board and artistic director of the Versace fashion house, a brand initiated by her late brother Gianni Versace in 1978, Donatella Versace invoked her connection to the LGBTQ community.
She recalled her brother’s coming out as gay to her when she was just 11 years old.
“For me, this changed nothing. I loved him, and I didn’t care who he loved,” she emphasized. “His love and encouragement made me who I am.”
Donatella Versace’s Personal Connection to the LGBTQ Community
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, whose conservative Brothers of Italy party ascended to power in October, the Italian government has endorsed measures to restrict LGBTQ rights.
In March, the government directed the city of Milan to cease automatically registering both parents in same-sex couples on city registers.
Subsequently, in June, Meloni’s administration actively promoted legislation that would criminalize Italian citizens’ efforts to become parents, even in countries where such practices are legal.
This move was viewed by opponents as an attempt to penalize nontraditional families, according to The Associated Press.
During the same month, a state prosecutor in northern Italy called for the cancellation of 33 birth certificates of children born to lesbian couples dating back to 2017, arguing that the names of the nonbiological mothers should be removed.
Versace pointed out on Sunday that in the current Italian environment, “children of same-sex couples are not considered their children,” and “transgender people still suffer terrible violence.”
She also took a moment to acknowledge the presence of Italian left-wing politician and LGBTQ advocate Alessandro Zan, stating, “Your voice is critical in our world, and I am here to support all that you fight for.”
Versace proudly embraced the label of a queer icon, underscoring her commitment to championing LGBTQ rights and standing up for freedom and inclusivity in Italy.
Source: NBC News