Media and LGBT+ discrimination: the UK and Italy compared

  • The British Embassy, ​​in the fight against the misuse of journalistic language on LGBT+ topics, renews its partnership with the Circolo Mario Mieli, a non-profit organization for LGBT+ culture.

  • The commitment against LGBT+ discrimination analyzed by two experts in the field: Ben Hunte for the United Kingdom and Senio Bonini for Italy.

  • The fight against LGBT+ discrimination remains a priority for Her Majesty’s Government

The British Embassy in Italy renews its commitment to diversity and the defense of minority rights, by choosing to open the doors of its splendid Roman residence, Villa Wolkonsky, to host a debate on “Media and LGBT+ Discrimination : UK and Italy Compared”.

After music, fashion and art, the British Embassy and the NGO Mario Mieliorganizers of Roma pride, together shed light on the language used by the Italian, British and European media. The media representation of LGBT+ reality has often been controversial: from the most violent homophobic current events to the “simple” presence of LGBT+ people in the world of entertainment, sport, television entertainment.

The lack of appropriate use of terminology by the media and social networks is a symptom of a much larger reality. Language then becomes the sounding board for a lack of basic information and becomes a means, sometimes unconscious, of discrimination against a community struggling to claim its identity and conquer a social reality which, on the contrary , discriminates, threatens, offends, mortifies, kills. For the simple rejection of what is different.

Deputy Ambassador Eleanor Sanders said:

As a representative of Her Majesty’s Government in Italy, my goal is to do everything possible to implement and emphasize the importance of defending diversity in all social spheres. More needs to be done, everywhere, to ensure that LGBT+ people feel safe and are treated equally across society. I am very proud to be here today, with my friends from Mario Mieli, to try to achieve this goal. It is differences that enrich us, bring new perspectives and viewpoints, enabling us to better ourselves and the communities in which we live.

Mario Colamarino, President of Club Mario Mieli, said:

I am happy, as President of the Mario Mieli Club, that the new UK Ambassador is also opening the doors of his residence to our association, our problems and the approaching Roma Pride. Being able to confront such current issues allows everyone to grow and feel less alone in this fight for civilization and overcoming prejudices, even in a period as difficult as the one we are going through. Comparison and culture have always been the most powerful weapon against all forms of marginalization.

The event, organized with the Cercle Culturel LGBT+ Mario Mieli, will bring together, among others, journalists Ben Hunt and Senio Bonini.

  • Ben Hunte was the BBC’s first LGBT+ correspondent. He has always covered stories about sexuality and gender. He was also, throughout his career, correspondent for North Africa. In July 2020, Ben was ranked number one on The Guardian and DIVA Magazine’s Pride Power List.

  • Senio Bonini, host of Agorà Extra on Rai3, is a journalist and television author. A former correspondent for Rainews24, he followed the presidency of the Council for years. He is in a civil union with Rosario and is the father of two little twins, Leo and Luna.

This event is part of a broader context of initiatives and activities related to the LGBT+ universe carried out by the British Embassy in Italy. Indeed, in addition to supporting Pride, on June 11, the overseas mission will participate in the Roma Pride parade, proud to be able to celebrate this year the 50th anniversary of the first Pride in London.

The confirmation of the presence of the British delegation symbolizes the care with which Ambassador Ed Lewellyn, and the entire overseas mission, treats such a relevant social issue. The actions of the Embassy are part of the action strategy of the Foreign, Development and Commonwealth Office.

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