When homosexuality becomes an instrument of political struggle

There’s a huge difference between ‘coming out’ and being ‘outed’. The former is often the choice of the individual in question – the latter not. The latest case in Italian national press is concerning a well-known Italian journalist who’s had to deal with public statements, tweeted by another colleague and, as such, being ‘outed’.

This, sadly, isn’t an isolated case. We’ve seen multiple episodes flooding the feeds of all our social networks. This case, along with others, therefore offers the opportunity to define the difference between ‘coming out’ and ‘outing’.

‘Outing’ occurs when someone declares the (real or presumed) homosexuality of others without their consent, while ‘coming out’ refers to a voluntary, sincere, and authentic statement by the person concerned. If ‘coming out’ is fundamental to breaking down homophobia and discrimination, ‘outing’ can be regarded as an attack on a person’s privacy.

The Court of Cassation in Italy, with sentence No. 30369 of 24 July 2012, condemned a journalist who revealed (in an article) the sexual orientation of a person without their consent, and in the ‘absence of public interest in the news‘. However, in ruling 50659 of 2016, the same Supreme Court ruled that the word homosexual does not harm a person’s reputation.

So what does all of this signify? Especially during the regressive term of the Meloni government? That homosexuality is a ‘condition’ to be ashamed of, to be kept secret or to deny; rather than the identity and true essence of a person.

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