Ex-gay Giuseppe Povia, who hails from Milan, wrote and performed the song “Luca Was Gay” that is currently in the running for the best song award at the yearly Sanremo Music Festival to be held next month in Italy. He claims that two of his friends also converted to heterosexuality and got married after he convinced them to change.
Aurelio Mancuso, president of the gay rights group Arcigay of Italy, promised a “strong, noisy and organized” protest unless the song is removed from the festival. Povia is no stranger to speaking up against gays as mentioned by Mancuso, as he had appeared in the magazine “Panorama” back in 2005, making statements such as:
“people aren’t gay, they become gay on the basis of who they spend time with”
“ had a gay phase, it lasted seven months and then I got over it.”
If this is true, then these statements can hardly relate to most within the community that are comfortable with their sexuality since young. Povia can hardly be considered a gay man (let alone an ex-gay) since he had no prior life or experiences relating to his supposed “homosexual” orientation except for a probable experimentation which lasted barely a year.
In an article published on “Repubblica” (translated), the song Luca Was Gay was highlighted, and seemed to contain strong statements that is deeply rooted to the reparative therapy framework by NARTH that blames the parents for homosexuality, and reconciliation with parents as the ex-gay cure.
However, Arcigay’s protest may not be a solution; it will not go down well with ex-gay groups, who can easily use this example to claim that gays are intolerant of ex-gays, as do groups like PFOX in the United States. In fact, Italian politican Luca Volonte from The Union of Christian and Centre Democrats was quoted as saying the move to force the song’s exclusion is “a clear attempt at discrimination and censorship”. Will this protest be used as a fodder for ex-gay ministries in the future? Time will tell.