By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com May 27 2013 11:30 AM ET
The letter of an anguished teenage boy was printed in an Italian newspaper as a call for protections for LGBT citizens. It has since gone viral online. And now the country's speaker of Parliament is asking for a meeting with the 17-year-old who wrote openly about contemplating suicide.
La Repubblica newspaper printed a letter from a boy they called Davide Tancredi. He wrote, according to a translation in the Independent, that “I am gay, I am 17-years old and this letter is my last alternative to suicide in a troglodyte society; in a world that does not accept me even though I’m born that way."
“Not everyone is fortunate enough to be born heterosexual. If there was a little less discrimination and a little more sympathy or Christian charity, people would stop hating.”
What happens in Italy is heavily influenced by the Vatican. The teen, whose parents are Catholic, told La Repubblica that although his parents have accepted him, few others know about his sexual orientation. His letter came specifically as a response to an antigay activist's suicide at the altar in Notre Dame in France, which has just legalized same-sex unions. The teen said that although the suicide was the act of a madman, it's also in his view a last option for a gay teen in Italy.
Speaker Laura Boldrini posted an open letter in response to the boy, noting that she has a daughter about his age and was "deeply disturbed by your cry for help."
"A country that considers itself civilised cannot afford to live without a law against ‘homophobia, an evil that drives many young people to take their own lives," she wrote, according to the Independent.
In a follow-up interview, the young man told La Repubblica that he hasn't decided whether to accept the invitation. He isn't optimistic and expects politicians will revert to form after the publicity fades away.