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Nowadays, the legal status of homosexual people varies widely from one country to another (ILGA 2019). In many contexts, the homosexual social movement has played a central role in fighting heterosexism and homophobia (Weinberg 1983). Especially in the democratic world, the homosexual social movement has been capable of spreading solidarity and inclusion and also of leading changes in regulatory terms, with different results context by context (Adam, Duyvendak, Krouwel 1999).

The paper aims to point out the Italian situation and the main characteristics of the gay social movement in Italy as key factors of the social change. More specifically, the paper is aimed at recounting the political process and the symbolic and cultural factors that led the Italian homosexual social movement to impose itself on the social scene as a reality with its own specific identity. The paper’s last section analyses the so-called “Italian rainbow cities”, urban contexts where the LGBT community is highly concentrated and in which it is so active as to stimulate, in cooperation with the local urban administrations, capacity-building processes oriented to the construction and consolidation of LGBT people’s rights and social inclusion.


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FABIO CORBISIERO, University of Naples Federico II

Fabio Corbisiero is Associate Professor at the Department of Social Sciences of the University of Naples Federico II. He is scientific director of “Osservatorio LGBT” and “OUT Osservatorio Universitario sul Turismo” at the same University. His research mainly concerns the field of urban sociology, with a specific reference at tourism and urban contexts in the dimension of social inequality and minorities (LGBT people, migrants, people with disabilities).

SALVATORE MONACO, Free University of Bozen

Salvatore Monaco is Postdoctoral Researcher in Sociology at the Faculty of Education, Free University of Bozen. He is a researcher of “Osservatorio LGBT” and “OUT Osservatorio Universitario sul Turismo” of University of Naples Federico II. His research interests include tourism, technologies and territories with particular focus on identities, genders, sexual orientations and generations.


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