Italy’s Security Forces Driving Selves From Closet

Tired of living quietly in a macho culture, members of Italy’s various security forces are rallying and preparing to come out:

The Open Polis association will launch in the northern Italian city of Bologna on 26 September. Membership is open to gay men and women from the police, the paramilitary Carabinieri and tax police, as well as the army and the air force.

“For many of us in uniform, the worry is not violent physical attacks, but blatant discrimination, and daily ‘macho’ jokes and language,” said Open Polis President Nicola Cicchitti, who serves with Italy’s tax police, quoted by Italian daily, Corriere della Sera.

“The entry of women into the police and army has altered this macho culture somewhat, but hasn’t been able to get rid of it,” Cicchitti said.

A key goal of the association will be to change attitudes towards gay men and women in the security forces and set up groups to train colleagues in handling crimes against gays.

About 200 men and women have already signed up with Open Polis, which will soon become the planet’s most attractive gay rights group, we’re sure…