I remember the day Freddie Mercury died. A classmate — who is now an established architect — called me at home. It was a time when mobiles did not exist, and of course not even internet. So, when he told me “Freddy Mercury died, yesterday night”, I had no way to Google this name I was hearing for the first time in my life. “Freddy Mercury?” — I repeated inquisitively. “Yes, — he said — Freddie Mercury. He had AIDS.”
I expressed some sorrow, and started to talk about something else. I had no idea about who the hell was this Mercury guy, but definitively I did not want to show my ignorance on the topic. Today the world is much an easier place to live, than 20 years ago. All the information is available on-line. In those days, it took me a lot of effort to learn something about the Queen, the glory and iconic fame of Freddy Mercury, and his sexual life.
Italian football players are all straight. As priests are.
The Prime Minister of Belgium is homosexual, as well as Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir — Prime Minister of Iceland. Eventually some very nice people among my friends are homosexual. And I have no idea of the sexual interests of most people I meet every day. Still, Italians pretend to believe that none of the football players in the national team, playing now (with poor results) at the EURO 2012 games in Ukraine and Poland, none of them is bisexual or homosexual.
Yes, the right question is: does it matter? Is sexual orientation a relevant quality in people running after a ball for 90 minutes? Of course it is not. However, Italians are the same people who truly believe that there are no homosexuals in the Catholic clergy. Now, I never met a professional football player, in my life — but most of the catholic priests I met were, more or less openly, gay.