Granddaughter of Italian fascist Mussolini comes out swinging for LGBTQ+ rights: ‘People can change’

Alessandra Mussolini

The granddaughter of Italian fascist Benito Mussolini has made a “180-degree shift” from anti-LGBTQ+ bigot to ally. 

Alessandra Mussolini once denounced gay adoption over concerns children would see gay parents “rolling around in bed” and said it was “better to be a fascist than a f****t” – but has now emerged as a surprising champion for gay rights in Italy and wider Europe

Mussolini’s grandfather, dictator Benito Mussolini, famously sent gay men labelled “degenerate” to an island off of Italy’s coast in an effort to rid the country of them and protect the image of facism. 

His grandaughter, it seems, is choosing a different path to her notable relative. 

The 60-year-old was elected an MEP in September and soon started a gender battle with the EU parliament over the gender tick-box on its forms. 

When asked to tick male or female on her MEP identity card, she insisted on leaving the space blank. 

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She told The Times: “I was shocked. It’s discriminatory — they had my picture and fingerprints, isn’t that enough?” 

“Why is gender important? And where is the ‘prefer not to mention’ that young people use when signing contracts? I told them they are stuck in the Middle Ages.”

She reportedly refused to apply for the card.

The most important thing is “love”

Mussolini also backed a bill to combat homophobia in the country. The law, known as the Zan bill, sought to punish acts of discrimination and incitement to violence against gay, lesbian, transgender and disabled people, as well as making misogyny a hate crime. 

Alessandro Zan, who wrote the bill, said: “I am happy whenever anyone like Mussolini changes their views based on their experience and personal reflection.”

However, the legislation was subsequently voted down in Italy’s parliament. 

In an interview with The Times, Mussolini noted her dramatic change in perspective and said “the most important thing is that you can give love”. 

“People can change, you can learn from the young,” she added. 

Gabriele Piazzoni, president of the Italian LGBT group Arcigay, said Mussolini had made a “180-degree shift from the conservative, heterosexual, Catholic politics she was associated with”. 

“People usually change their views thanks to an LGBT friend or family member. That is worth a hundred of our campaigns,” he added. 

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