Gay for the Pope, Gay for Everyone

The "gay kiss-in" for the Pope's visit to Barcelona brings up cultural comparisons of the U.S. and Europe. Could something like that really happen in the U.S.?
Photo: copyright 2010 David Ramos/Getty Images

The Pope’s visit to Barcelona and the protests around it looked like an interesting time. This photo on Gawker shows one of the main reasons I love Europe. Spain’s a pretty gay place to be right now, so I hear. Let’s get some of that attitude over to the U.S.

That brings up a question. Is it wrong to wish certain parts of a culture to be different, like for me to wish Europe’s strong gay-rights attitude were the same in the U.S.? Is it wrong I wish that Italy had Starbucks and Taco Bell? Is it wrong that I wish Italian fashion were in style in the U.S. (like my red loafers)? For me to wish the U.S. could play songs on the radio with the word “fuck,” like they do in Europe? For me to wish the U.S. had such cheap, easy train travel like Europe? Et cetera.

Of course, sometimes cultures make trades that I wish didn’t happen. For example, I cringed when I read this recent New York Times article explaining Coach is moving into the European market. In Italy, instead of seemingly everyone having a Coach bag like in the U.S., almost everyone carries Louis Vuitton, which is refreshing to see.

Being all over Europe has really made me think about culture. Of course, I come from the United States and was thrown into Italian and European culture. I am highly connected to LGBT culture, and I see how mainstream Americans and European culture often react badly to it. That’s why I felt the photo from Barcelona was important. It showed culture and something beyond. Europe is the most accepting place for gay people on the planet, but in the end, the photo simply shows people protesting for their basic rights. This has nothing to do with only one part of the world, it’s global.

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