“Everything I was teased about at school in Germany, that I pay attention to my clothes and stuff, everyone in Italy thought it was great. But my being gay was never talked about. There were no gays, I didn’t see any gays,” said Riccardo Simonetti (28) told ZEITmagazin in a discussion with four other German-Italian people. As far as Italy was concerned, “a kind of de-idealization definitely took place with him,” says Simonetti.
There are also double standards in his family: “My father, for example – my parents are now separated – hardly ever spoke to me about my being gay.” Simonetti says he was also afraid to tell his grandmother about his boyfriend.
In the video above, you can learn more about Riccardo Simonetti’s hospitalization in December and see the shocking photo he shared with his fans.
Riccardo Simonetti: He enjoys a special status in his family
In her case, however, her fears were unfounded. Simonetti says he enjoys a special status in his family because he became successful at a very young age.
“If I was still in college and I was gay and I looked the way I do, I think there would be more criticism. But being able to support my family financially keeps my mouth shut quickly.”