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The first accredited university course on gay studies in Italy is being offered this winter in Milan.
According to the Associated Press, the course was the brainchild of Giacomo Moro, a 23-year-old biology major. He conceived of the course in response to a death threat from a man who saw him hanging fliers on campus for the gay association.
"Shaken, but unharmed, Moro decided to help turn that act of hatred, the first he'd suffered since he'd come out at age 17, into something constructive: Italy's first accredited university course on gay studies on offer this winter at the Milan university school of political science," reports the AP.
The AP calls the course "something of a revolution" for Italy, where the Roman Catholic Church dominates cultural life despite the potential for popular left-wing politician Nichi Vendola to become the country's first out gay prime minister.
"Because gay life is not part of everyday life for many, organizers say the course is very basic in its approach to the material and is aimed at discussing gender identity and what that means in an array of contexts, from political to judicial to literary," reports the AP.
Nearly 200 students showed up for the first day of class last week. The course could be repeated another semester if there is interest.