Måneskin star shares harsh reality of being queer in ‘conservative’ Italy: ‘I felt people staring’

Måneskin on the red carpet at the Gucci - Arrivals - Women's Collection Milan Fashion Week

Victoria De Angelis, bassist of Eurovision-winning, Grammy-nominated band Måneskin, has laid bare the reality of being an out and proud queer woman in Italy.

Ever since taking the Eurovision Song Contest by storm in the Netherlands in 2021, rock band Måneskin have brought joy to fans everywhere, both through their fiery third studio album Rush! and their defiant displays of queerness.

The band’s drummer, Ethan Torchio, and bassist, Victoria De Angelis, both identify as queer. Vocalist Damiano David and guitarist Thomas Raggi – who both identify as straight – go out of their way to challenge tired gender norms through how they present themselves on stage, and have rebuked the idea that fans should be entitled to any information about who they sleep with.

Despite the unapologetic ways that the band embrace sexuality and gender expression, things haven’t always been easy for the queer members of the band, and for De Angelis in particular.

In a new interview with The Big Issue, the musician, 23, has revealed that she was made to feel “uncomfortable” when openly dating women in her home country, Italy. 

Victoria De Angelis lifts her leg up to perform with her guitar at the 02 arena.
Måneskin bassist Victoria De Angelis. (Getty/Matthew Baker)

“I remember when I first started dating girls, I felt people really staring,” she explained to the magazine, adding that her biggest wish is that queerness was seen as “normal”.

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“These things can really make you uncomfortable, even if it’s not such a big deal compared to what other people deal with. But I still just wish it could be completely normal.”

De Angelis shared her view that many people in Italy still think homosexuality is wrong.

“It’s very conservative still, in Italy. It’s a very Catholic country and many, many people still believe, because of that, that it’s a sin to be homosexual. So that’s why many people still can’t get over this,” the Måneskin star said.

Last year, the public voted Giorgia Meloni – the country’s first far-right prime minister since the Second World War – into office.

Giorgia Meloni wears a blue outfit as she speaks to someone off camera
Giorgia Meloni believes gender inclusivity will bring forward the ‘disappearance of the woman’ and ‘end of motherhood’. (Getty)

Meloni has frequently resorted to anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric throughout her political career; during a speech in June last year, she said: “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology.”

She has also expressed her staunch opposition to queer people being able to adopt children, stating that the “state must try to reserve adoption for a man and a woman”.

She is also opposed to strengthening rights for trans, non-binary and intersex people, claiming that “gender ideology” will cause the “disappearance of the woman”.

Despite Victoria De Angelis’ tough experience of growing up queer in Italy, and the difficulties currently facing LGBTQ+ people across the country, she remains hopeful that things will change.

“Hopefully the younger generations are opening their minds more, and even if they are religious, they can learn to be more respectful and tolerant towards people that just have their own sexuality,” De Angelis said.

“I think that’s a step that is starting now in Italy but it’s still gonna need time.

“[Måneskin] want to spread the message of believing in yourself and finding the courage to be who you are,” she added, before providing one final flip-off to the bigots trying to trample LGBTQ+ lives.

“But also … like, the f**king idiots should stop being such d**ks, you know?”