Just like the United States, Italy is not immune to anti-LGBTQ politics, and this week two teens are going viral after photobombing a conservative, anti-LGTBQ politician with a kiss. Matteo Salvini is Italy’s minister of the interior and deputy prime minister. He is also a member of the Lega Nord Party, which is a far-right political group. Salvini has endorsed the World Congress of Families, an event that brings together far-right and religious leaders and activists, many of whom oppose LGBTQ rights.
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Salvini was in Sicily for a rally last week, posing for selfies with supporters when 19-year-olds Gaia Parisi and Matilde Rizzo queued in line to meet the minister. But Parisi and Rizzo were not supporters, but rather friends who wanted to take the opportunity to protest the minister and call attention to his anti-LGBTQ attitude. So when it was their turn to pose with Salvini, they turned to each other and kissed while Salvini smiled at the camera, ended up with a truly epic photobomb.
Grazie Gaia e Matilde 💕🌈 pic.twitter.com/2uBT0dGqgR
— Lia✨ (@malecblood) April 26, 2019
“We queued with his supporters and when it was our turn, we kissed while I was taking the photos,” Parisi told BuzzFeed News. “An officer immediately separated us, as you can see in the second photo. Salvini’s reaction was giving a pat on Matilde’s head and saying, ‘auguri e figli maschi.’ That’s an Italian saying that could be translated with ‘I wish you all the best and male sons.'”
“Our photo was a protest, we had an important message to share,” said Parisi to BuzzFeed. “I decided to share the photo on my Instagram because politicians like Matteo Salvini, in our country, use social media improperly with propagandist purposes, so we thought we had to use all the means we have to be heard by people and by politicians.”
The teens hope the act will inspire others to “fight hate with love.”