Fifty years ago this week the International Congress on Sexual Deviancy was arranged in the casino in Sanremo, Italy, where psychiatrists and doctors met to try to make out that LGBT people were freaks. A small but vocal protest by the gay community saw the first clear Out and Proud banners and slogans, and was instrumental in changing attitudes.
On Tuesday, the same venue hosted a Countercongress celebrating LGBT life and showing how much progress there has been in improving rights since. There's quite a way to go yet but what improvements there have been!
This event opened this celebratory pride week. Tomorrow an LGBT photographic exhibition will be unveiled in the Sanremo civic centre and there will be a pride parade in town. As far as I know this is the first one in Sanremo, not a large city but certainly a lively one.
It also happens to be the same weekend as the Sanremo Rally. How pride paraders and racing cars will get round each other, I'm not sure. A gay rally meets a gay rally!
|Outside the casino today|
More news in part 2 after the weekend's events.