Gladiators Return to Ancient Rome in Gay Show of Force


Roman gladiators once again paid a visit to the city’s colisseum, this time as warriors for equality in Rome’s gay pride march, urging the Italian government to approve a draft bill it is considering that would give gays and lesbians a broad range of new rights. Tens of thousands marched this weekend.


AFP reports: “The raucous and colourful crowd, which included transvestites and lawmakers, marched under a baking sun from Rome’s Saint Paul’s Gate to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope as Bishop of Rome, where anti-gay protestors had staged a giant rally last month. The marchers held up banners screaming: ‘For a more European Italy,’ ‘Rights for All,’ and ‘Equality, Dignity and Secularism,’ as they called upon Prime Minister Romano Prodi to speed up plans to recognise gay unions.”


Vladimir Luxuria, the transgender Italian politician who showed her support last month at the Moscow gay rights rally which erupted in violence, marched in a grey and red satin gown. Said Luxuria: “I hope that 2007 will be the year when the rights of gays, lesbians and bisexuals are recognised to give us all more peaceful lives.”


Gay Pride attracts tens of thousands in Rome [afp]

Rome Gladiators

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  1. says

    It is a puzzle best left to historians to understand why anyone in the early 21st century thought that shirtless gymbunnies in faux gladiator porn togs represented anything so complex as sexual and political equality.

  2. desi says

    holy sh*t, is it 1997 again already?! why didn’t somebody wake me?! wear are my cutoff jean shorts and combat boots?!…I’M IN!! doesn’t it seem like whenever you go outside the U.S. the gay scenes are exactly ten years behind ours? but i do tip my hat to them for coming together……better late than never….some cuties tho’

  3. reality check says

    this is why i state that i am not gay cause of the bizarre behavior of this friut loops thats supposed to represent me. why all the frigging makeup…and freakish costume. thats why the world sees us as freaks. when is the day are we going to match up in suits. and normal dresess gosh i hate being bi why cant i be str8

  4. says

    Um, Joe T. Your therapist called. Please call her back.

    I think the point here isn’t naked boys shaking their grove thang (or in Italian, cosa della scanalatura or grouvio tinga), but rather that the politics of visibility of the late 1960s isn’t the same thing as the politics of visibility of 2007–in Rome, for Jupiter’s sake.

    I’m all for beautiful men and women, naked and scintillating. But for an article about the importance of politics and secularization in a country dominated by Catholics, how about some pictures of those signs? Women?
    etc etc etc.

  5. Zeke says

    Reality Check, try Exodus International. They won’t change you but they’ll be glad to take your money and you’ll get to hang out with a bunch of people who hate themselves, and other gays, as much as you do.

    Having said that, I will say that I do find it a bit odd that people who would never be caught dead taking part in a gay political rally for something important, because it’s way too “gay”, will dress up like poodles and sashay down main street just for kicks.

  6. Gianpiero says

    A series of better crowd shots (starting with my favorite) that give you a sense of the size of the event and where the crowd is much more “typical” can be found at:

    The photos showing our “Aztec” buddies and other fabulous over-the-topness is a completely separate series, here:

    There’s a third series showing various banners, some of which are pretty creative. One of my favorites: “Priests Out of Our Underpants!”

  7. Brian says

    Desi- Who’s 10 years behind the times? Gay guys can marry in Holland, Spain, Belgium, and have cicivl union rights elsewhere. They have better legal protection in South Africa! It is we Americnas who are behind the times thanks to the reactionary Republican thugs in charge of our government.

  8. John says

    Brian –

    That’s only true if you treat “America” as one homogenous, centralized entity. Given our long history of state’s rights and federalism, however, that is not an accurate representation. In America, the states experiment with social policy far more than the federal government does.

    And no, Europe is not always as tolerant as the Brussels propaganda machine makes it out to be. When it comes to social conservatism, believe me, Poland and Italy would not look out of place next to Alabama and Utah.

    Conversely, parts of the U.S. are actually very progressive. The West Coast is at least on par with Germany and France. And Massachusetts is right up there with the Netherlands.

    I have no problem with learning from other nations. But lets not sell ourselves short either. We are making progress on these issues.

  9. SarcasticPig says

    I agree with ‘REALITYCHECK’, why must naked men and women, running on the road, represent us? we would get our rights if we dont go out in the city like that and flash our assess off to the world. they look like freakin’ animals.

    i believe we are much more than sluts on the road. we can be more civilized and we can fight for rights in a different way. we are smart intellectuals capable of so much more. we cant be stereotyped like that. what a bad picture we’ve painted of ourselves for society.

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