Lorenza /

“My name is Lorenza, I come from Italy, I’m 25 years old and I’m in love with Ilenia, my girlfriend.

I always thought to be heterosexual up to 20 years old, when I fell in love for the first time with a girl. It happened just when I finished high school and I went on a trip through Europe with some friends. There, I realized that my feelings for my friend Ilenia exceeded friendship and I realized I was in love with her. In a short time we became a couple, but I realized that I had a great obstacle to my happiness: my family. My parents are divorced and I have always lived with my mother. My father remarried and had another daughter, my step-sister which I was so attached.

When my mother found out about my relationship with a woman, she was suffering from cancer and the world fell on me. I felt responsible for her unhappiness, I felt her biggest disappointment. Right now she began using an offensive language to contact me, refusing to accept me and my relationship. Every day was a struggle, a continuous fight, sometimes accompanied by slaps and very heated debates. She was sick and I wanted to be near her, support her, as would all the daughters with their mothers. But I couldn’t. She distanced more and more. I was the daughter wrong, her shame. After few months, we found out she was cured of her illness. Now, I was the only problem: I went to a psychologist at the urging of my mother but It didn’t change anything. My girlfriend was my lifeline, the only one I could get out and talk and the only one that made me feel happy. Ilenia also helped me to find a consultant who specializes in LGBT issues. From this moment, I broke the chain of indifference about my homosexuality that prevailed at home. I began to talk more openly about myself and my relationship. But my mom was always an impenetrable wall. One evening the argument was more heated than usual, I received several slaps and insults. About this night, however, I do not feel like talking much. If I think about it, I’m still hurt even if it happened more than four years ago. The next day my father came to know about my homosexuality, and by this time I couldn’t see my little three years old step-sister. I felt to be thrown away, as if I had to infest all that is next to me for the reason to make it wrong as me. Since that day, I didn’t see either my father nor my sister. In 2013 I decided, in agreement with my girlfriend, to move in together. I was back with the study because of the situation I was living at home and I had to start thinking about myself. Although my mother was very upset with my choice, I left my home of origin. Because of the distance from home, every two weeks I came home for the weekend and the situation was much improved. In that short time we spent together, we didn’t fight anymore. This year, after two years living with my girlfriend, my mother came for the first time in the house that I share with the love of my life. She still refuses to meet Ilenia, but you know, you need to make do with what you have. Things can change, just be patient. I love my mother and I know she is intelligent enough to accept her daughter. I know she feels guilty for her past behavior.

I know I was lucky, because there are situations in which violence is much more amplified. I was also fortunate to have by my side a fantastic girlfriend that always respected me, loved me and supported me.

In Italy discrimination is not serious like other states where being gay is a crime. The discrimination against LGBT people is juridical: we don’t have any LGBT civil rights. If we want to marry we have to go abroad, if we want to build a family we have to go abroad. But when we return in Italy we are nobody. I know thing can get better but to do that we don’t have to hide. Visibility has to be our priority.

Thank you for reading my story. And remember to be HAPPY and never, NEVER, be ashamed of yourself. We are unique just as we are.

Photo credit: Serena Cevenini Photographe”

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