Queer & Italian in Montreal

On Thursday, July 21, I’ll be hosting a special event at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Montreal called “Queer and Italian in Montreal.” An official part of this year’s Fierté Montreal Pride, this event will be a festive celebration of queer Italian-Canadian life and culture in the city

The idea for this event came after I learned that the 2021 “Italian Montreal” exhibit at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum (which set out to shine “a spotlight on the daily lives of Montréal’s earliest Italian immigrants and on the ways in which the community has evolved over the past century) neglected to include any information about the contributions made by LGBTQ Italians. Most notable was the omission of the work of writer Steve Galluccio, whose year 2000 play Mambo Italiano made an enormous impact in the city and put a spotlight on the love lives of Montreal’s gay Italian-Canadians.

Well, we hope to correct that oversight with this event.

Joining me and Steve on stage will be Gaspare Borsellino (president of the Gruppo Italiano Gay e Lesbico di Montreal, a social club for LGBTQ folks of Italian origin that played a significant role in queer cultural life in Montreal in the 1990s) and Vee DG (writer, photographer and co-founder of CIAO – Canadian Italians Against Oppression). Together, we will talk about the past, present and future of queer Italian-Canadian culture in the city.

As part of the event, we will also be screening Creative Spaces: Queer and Italian Canadian (Licia Canton, 2021), a short documentary that explores the intersections of queerness, creativity and culture with three Italian-Canadian writers living in Montreal. Featured in the documentary are Domenico A. Beneventi, Liana Cusmano, Steve Galluccio, and yours truly.

“Queer and Italian in Montreal” is free and takes place on Thursday, July 21, 2022, from 7 PM to 9 PM at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Montreal (1200 ave du Docteur-Penfield). Click here to reserve your place.

Big thanks go out to Sandro Cappelli and his team at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Montreal, as well as Fierté Montreal Pride, and Accenti magazine. I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support.

Hope to see you there.

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