2018 - Ongoing
I am 30 years old, I am lesbian and I did not succeed in talking to my grandparents about me, about the real me.
Wish it Was a Coming Out originates and starts there, from a suffering lie that lasted for years.
When, during my teenage years, I realised that I was attracted to girls, I understood that people’s sexual orientation is often taken for granted by others. I realised that if coming out is supposed to be a liberating action, I soon discovered how difficult it can be to reveal a part of one’s identity to some people, a part which is still a cause for prejudice. For years, I carried the burden of not being able to share the discovery of my lesbianism with my grandparents, missing out on the chance to have a shared understanding with them. The lack of such a confession gave rise to the need for self-redemption, the necessity for an act of catharsis which would benefit myself and others.
And so, as an indirect tribute to my grandparents, I began exploring the life experiences of people who were similar to them in terms of age, but similar to me in terms of sexual orientation. Here you are Wish it Was a Coming Out, an ongoing long-term project, with which I want to investigate the double taboo related to homosexuality and old age in Italy. The protagonists of this work are a group of gay men and lesbian women between sixty and ninety years old. I began to connect with them at the age of 27, in 2018, when I got their contact details through word of mouth and some online dating apps. Later, after a first telephone chat, I started travelling around Italy to meet those who wanted to share their personal story. In doing so, I captured smiles, worries, thoughts, love and desires, which are rarely given a voice. I decided to photograph these people as couples or alone, in their own homes, in scenes of true intimacy.
Beginning with the shared experiences, both of mine and of my subjects, my aim was and still is to provide insight into the lives of gay and lesbian people in Italy today who experience that contradictory and fascinating phase of life linked to ageing. Considering that Italy is culturally, socially, and economically different from North to South, I decided to seek out these people in as many regions as possible, which is why I have travelled and continue to travel all over Italy. This work, with its possibility of remedying those silences that we always carry with ourselves, talks about the desire to expose oneself fully without negating any part of one’s identity: the words ‘coming out’ in the title do not refer simply to one’s sexuality but also, and above all, to the intergenerational sharing of one’s own experiences, life, and whole self.