[01-001] Mario Mieli (ENG)

Mario Mieli, born in Milan on May 21, 1952, was one of the leading Italian homosexual activists of his time.

In 1971 he moved to London where he came into contact with the city’s vibrant homosexual movement. For this reason he participated in the first activities of the Italian homosexual liberation movement as an envoy of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF). It very soon became a significant component of the F.U.O.R.I.! (Fronte Unitario Omosessuale Rivoluzionario Italiano, Italian Revolutionary Homosexual United Front), born in the spring of 1971.

Mario Mieli was also one of the 40 people who on April 5, 1972 appeared in front of the Sanremo Casino to protest against the International Congress of Sexology, with slogans including «Psychiatrists, we have come to treat you» [«Psichiatri, siamo venuti a curarvi].

In 1976, he was one of the founders of the Collettivi Omosessuali Milanesi (COM) [Milan Homosexual Collective], a galaxy of small associations that worked on self-consciousness.

In 1976, at the Parco Lambro in Milan, a festival of the proletariat was organized in which Mieli made one of his most famous gestures. After COM and other feminist groups suffered acts of violence, Mieli took the stage declaring, «Non ce ne andremo. Vuol dire che da oggi non batteremo soltanto, ma combatteremo» [«We’re not going to leave. It means that from today we will not only beat, but we will fight.»]. He left the scene with striking slogans, including «Lotta dura contro natura» [«Hard fight against nature»]

In 1977 he published the book that consecrated him abroad as the main theorist of the Italian gay movement and, according to some, as the precursor of queer studies: «Towards a Gay Communism: Elements of a Homosexual Critique». In the vision he expressed in this book, heterosexuality is not at all natural and normal, but is rather the historical product of “education”, of a cultural and social process that inhibits «la pluralità delle tendenze dell’Eros e l’ermafroditismo originario e profondo di ognuno» [«the plurality of the tendencies of Eros and the original and profound hermaphroditism of each one»].

Mario Mieli committed suicide on March 12, 1983.