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Hello from normally sunny California
#1
Hello there. I teach Italian and Spanish here in California in an adult school. English is my first language but I lived in Italy for two years and have been back two other times. I just love Italy. Italy is much more gay friendly than the U.S. Anyway my second time back to Italy I got a scholarship to study the Italian language and have been teaching Italian for 4 years. I also teach Spanish to adults in the same school. Have a master's degree in Spanish and I've been teaching Spanish for many years. Has anyone else been to Italy?

Just read an article about gays in Italy. This is one of the statements in it:

"It is noteworthy that being lesbian or gay in a place like Italy is
embraced, like the ever evolving culture of many advanced European
cities, and perhaps should teach Americans a thing or two about how
human co-existence can evolve for the good of the overall society."
#2
Welcome to GS, Ragazzo. Italy is a fantastic place, that's where my ancestors on my father's side come from. I would love to walk on the same ground that my ancestors walked on many years ago. I'm glad to see yet another straight ally on this fine message board. I hope ya stick around and ya contribute to this forum! Smile
#3
Hi and welcome! :]

I've been to Italy 2-3 times, it's a common destination for us Europeans :d I've also been to Spain once, but I hope I visit again because I took up Spanish this year and am going to study it for the rest of high school. :]
PENNYWISE LIVES
#4
Italy isn't all that enlightened on the gay rights issues, there are plenty of parts of the USA that have better tract records on gay rights issues. Europe likes to think of itself as enlightened and tolerant, but the USA gets a bad rap because it is a place of extremes, with very conservative and very liberal areas. On the whole, I think the USA is a country of tolerant and good people.

From a little digging on wikipedia, a greater portion of Americans support gay marriage and gay adoption than Italians.
When a subject is highly controversial — and any question about sex is that — one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold. One can only give one's audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.
- Virginia Woolf
#5
OrphanPip Wrote:Italy isn't all that enlightened on the gay rights issues, there are plenty of parts of the USA that have better tract records on gay rights issues. Europe likes to think of itself as enlightened and tolerant, but the USA gets a bad rap because it is a place of extremes, with very conservative and very liberal areas. On the whole, I think the USA is a country of tolerant and good people.

From a little digging on wikipedia, a greater portion of Americans support gay marriage and gay adoption than Italians.

It's not really true, OrphanPip. Maybe some do, but we are fully aware that the US, being so much bigger and such a mix of cultures and nations and so much yonger, would be much more open-minded about those issues. We're trying hard to fight homophobia and stuff, but sometimes it's not happening and becoming more tolerant takes a couple of generations to change. Plus, that we have so many communist countries that resemble the third-world ones... :]
PENNYWISE LIVES
#6
Sorry to disagree but I have to say that tolerance is not a word that I associate with Americans. Lots of Europeans are, privately, not in favour of gay marriage, but are prepared to go with the flow. Americans on the other hand, if they don't believe in gay marriage, they will say so, they will change their political support, etc. My feeling is that more Americans simply see nothing wrong with homosexuality and therefore nothing to be tolerant of.

Tolerance means tolerance of something that is considered to be wrong, it may be wise or a necessary evil, but I am not sure it is a good thing in it's own right (unless it's me who is on the receiving end of intolerance).
Fred

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
#7
fredv3b Wrote:Tolerance means tolerance of something that is considered to be wrong, it may be wise or a necessary evil, but I am not sure it is a good thing in it's own right (unless it's me who is on the receiving end of intolerance).

I'd say, of something different.
PENNYWISE LIVES
#8
fredv3b Wrote:Sorry to disagree but I have to say that tolerance is not a word that I associate with Americans. Lots of Europeans are, privately, not in favour of gay marriage, but are prepared to go with the flow. Americans on the other hand, if they don't believe in gay marriage, they will say so, they will change their political support, etc. My feeling is that more Americans simply see nothing wrong with homosexuality and therefore nothing to be tolerant of.

Tolerance means tolerance of something that is considered to be wrong, it may be wise or a necessary evil, but I am not sure it is a good thing in it's own right (unless it's me who is on the receiving end of intolerance).

On what basis though, the numbers speak for themselves. More Americans favour increased rights for homosexuals than Italians. Likewise, political resistance to gay rights is hardly an American phenomena, the Berlusconi government has moved to stop gay rights legislation in Italy. The only reason there is any legal protection against discrimination in that country is because of broader EU legislation that has forced them into it.

Also, without getting too much into semantics, tolerance does not imply what you tolerate is wrong, tolerance is defined by a permissive attitude towards what differs from yourself.
When a subject is highly controversial — and any question about sex is that — one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold. One can only give one's audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.
- Virginia Woolf
#9
OrphanPip Wrote:On what basis though, the numbers speak for themselves. More Americans favour increased rights for homosexuals than Italians.

I totally agree, my point about whether Americans are tolerant or not. Also in a legalistic society such as the United States the question of legal rights is considered far more important than in Italy, where compliance with the law is a much more relaxed affair.

OrphanPip Wrote:Also, without getting too much into semantics, tolerance does not imply what you tolerate is wrong, tolerance is defined by a permissive attitude towards what differs from yourself.

It's a reasonable point that my definition was too narrow, but yours is far too broad.
Fred

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
#10
Sadly, Italy has quite a way to go as shown in the documentary film, Suddenly Last Winter, by Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi. Their experience of their own country is one of sometimes shocking intolerance.




We've discussed many times aspects of American culture ...

If PA and I had a car it would take us about ninety minutes to drive to Italy. As it is he has been many times and I have been twice. Even just across the border it looks and feels (oh, and tastes Smile )quite different from France.


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