fashion queen

Donatella Versace just solidified her gay icon status in the most powerful & chic way possible

Donatella Versace’s fashion isn’t the only thing that slays.

The 68-year-old designer/businesswoman wielded strong statements against Italy’s newly installed far-right, anti-LGBTQ+ government while accepting The Humanitarian Award for Equity and Inclusivity at the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards in Milan on Sunday.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has been on an anti-gay crusade since taking power last year. She’s instituted policies ordering the removal of names of non-biological parents from the birth certificates of children with same-sex parents, extended the ban on surrogacy to same-sex couples, and pledged not to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Italy. Currently, Italy only allows for same-sex civil unions, which doesn’t offer all the rights that are afforded to heterosexual marriages.

While never mentioning Meloni by name, Donatella did not mince words as she took to the stage and defended the queer community.

“Here in Italy, it’s never been more important for us to champion minority voices,” she began reading her speech decked out in an impeccable, one-shoulder beige gown.

“Our government is trying to take away people’s rights to live as they wish, they are restricting our freedoms. The freedom to walk down the street with our heads held high and without fear, regardless of identity. The freedom to build a family and live as one wishes. The freedom to love whom one wishes. We all have to fight for freedom.”

She continued: “At a time when transgender people still suffer terrible violence, at a time when children of same-sex couples are not considered their children, at a time when minority voices are being attacked by new laws. At this time, we still have so much to do.”

Donatella then referenced her enduring and unconditional love for her late brother Gianni Versace, recalling how he came out to her when she was just 11 years old.

“For me, that didn’t change anything. I loved him and didn’t care who he loved. His love and encouragement made me who I am,” the style star shared.

“Marco [Mengoni] said I am a queer icon [and] I am very proud of that. I fight for freedom, equity, and inclusiveness every day,” the designer said proudly. “I built my chosen family with unconditional love. My friends and my team are not defined by race, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation, but by creativity, openness, joy, and kindness — values that matter. If we were all more welcoming and understanding of one another, what an extraordinary world it would be.”

We stan our fashion queen!

Watch Donatella’s rousing speech below:

Donatella has been advocating for LGBTQ+ equality for decades.

In addition to donating to multiple charities, championing queer celebrities and models, and serving as a Stonewall Ambassador at World Pride in 2019, she recently launched the Donatella Versace Foundation and Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) new scholarship program for LGBTQ+ students.

“Young people want to learn about fashion and we are here to help them. The paths of young people in the LGBT community are sometimes complicated, and many deserve a better chance in life,” Donatella said during an appearance at the Los Angeles LGBT Center in March.

“I have been surrounded by many people around me but the LGBT community has not always been welcome in our society. My role is to support this natural family, my brothers and sisters.”

A day prior to the award ceremony, Donatella presented Versace’s Spring Summer ‘24 collection with a slew of male and female models, including the runway return of supermodel Claudia Schiffer.

Check out all the killer lewks and sexy catwalkers from Versace’s Spring Summer 2024 collection:

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