About Francesca
Name: Francesca 
Age: 21
City: Pescara, Italy
Nationality: Italian

How did you discover you were part of the queer community?
It’s an ongoing discovery, while I keep going in my life, I’m constantly in a mood of discovery, reaching what I truly am and the awareness of what exactly is my sexual orientation. The first time I got to think that I also liked girls I was 15 and I was experiencing the cliché of being in love with my best friend. I used to define myself a lesbian, but then I found out I was not. It’s okay to change your mind. So now I accept the awareness that I can fall in love with anyone: female, male, non-binary, genderfluid, and all kind of people. I don’t care about gender, the only thing that has ever combined my exes is their narcissism, but that's a whole different story.

What was your most painful discriminatory experience so far?
Luckily just a few episodes have been painful to me, anyway I’ve always been the kind of person who doesn’t care about people’s opinion, especially about this kind of aspects of myself, but I can remember two experiences that I didn’t like at all.
The first one happened in 2013: I was in Barcellona with my family when we found out that we couldn’t take the plane to come back because the company's pilots were on a strike. I had a programmed test at school that I couldn’t attend because of this unexpected event, so my classmates verbally assaulted me and they stopped insulting me just because they saw me kiss a girl in the hallway. Luckily I also had some people on my side too.
The second episode happened in 2015, some people (the so called "standing sentinels") were protesting against gay rights and gay marriage, so I celebrated with some friends two fake lesbian marriages in front of them to obstruct their protest… we've been even mentioned on the local newspaper! The problem came when I was kissing my fake bride and I suddenly had to stop because there were some guys from CasaPound chasing and intimidating us with some sticks they had. Me and my friends had to run and hide in a bar.

I noticed that you have a lot of tattoos, would you like to talk about them?
I wouldn't say "a lot" actually. I always thought I’d like to cover myself up in tattoos completely and I’m sorry that each one of the twelve tattoos I have now brings me back to a specific period of my life, that was very painful and difficult. Now that I got past that hard time, I adore my tattoos. Looking at them to me is like watching an old movie about my past from a frame roll that only I can read. My tattoos are to me the evidence that I am strong enough to do anything, even overtake difficult periods. I’d like to keep narrating myself to myself through some other tattoos in the future.
What do you like about you and what would you change?
Now that I’m 21 I almost like everything about me, even if it has been and it will continue being a very difficult journey. For example they’ve always told me I was the strange one, sometimes even the awkward one, but then I started to embrace this particular thing about me, because It’s a feature, not a flaw, and I should never again let anybody make me feel ashamed about my energy. I’m a bit like this: hyperactive and energetic, I could feel deadly paranoid inside but I’ll never let people know, and I’ll never give up on my energy. Here it is something I still don’t like about myself: all the paranoia and anxiety I have, but I’m working on it, and I’m also working on my productivity: my target is to become my best friend.

Does your family know about your sexual orientation? And what do they think about it?
Luckily in my family everything is fine, my mom needed a little more time than my dad to understand she shouldn’t care about my sexual orientation, even if she’ll always dream about having biological grandchildren, I always say that you can never know.

About the ‘’having kids’’ situation, what do you see for yourself on this point of view?
I’m sure I’d like having kids in the future, but I just don’t imagine it now because now I’m single and it’s too early. In the future I may want to have kids with somebody, but again, if I have to take care for some kids I don’t care about my partner’s gender, I only care they’re a good parent to the kids, and a good companion to me. Anyway I hope that for the time I’ll be a mom the social situation will be better, even if I’m afraid that the fight for our rights will still be difficult.

Have you ever thought about moving out of Italy to avoid these limitations?
I often ask myself this same question. I’d like to stay in Italy because I love Italy and its culture (note: I’m talking about the place’s culture, not the people’s one). Moving from Pescara to Rome was strange somehow and it’s just been a year since I came here. I really hope I won’t be forced to move out of this country. Who knows what the future holds!

Art Direction, Interview and Photography by Clotilde Petrosino
Proofreading by Verdiana Nobile 
The Queer Talks - Francesca ©Clotilde Petrosino
The Queer Talks - Francesca ©Clotilde Petrosino
The Queer Talks - Francesca ©Clotilde Petrosino
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