Elisa Pomarelli: lesbians take the floor

More then 10 Italian lesbian groups and more then 100 lesbians*, together with numerous allies from the feminism and lgbt movements, have signed a document denouncing the lesbophobic murder of Elisa Pomarelli.


On 24 August 2019 Elisa Pomarelli was killed by Massimo Sebastiani because she was a lesbian and dared to refuse the advances of a man she believed to be her friend. She was punished because she claimed her right to self-determination, to express her identity and to freely choose her relationships. Elisa’s is a feminicide and a lesbicide.

Now, one year after his death, a trial begins in which justice, at best, will only be half done. The murderer has in fact requested and obtained the shortened ritual, and therefore, the discount of sentence which, in cases recognised as feminicides, is not granted. Even the aggravating circumstance of lesbian phobia has not been detected, in the absence, to date, of a specific law. Elisa’s murder cannot be recognised either as feminicide or as lesbicide, a hate crime of a lesophobic matrix, when it is both.

Elisa was not only killed in one way. In the days following her feminicide, the Italian media had speculated about a possible relationship between her and her killer, talking about “good giant”, “dangerous game”, “unrequited love”. Then, when her sexual orientation was made public, it was suddenly said that the victim’s personal life had to be protected, that she should not be presumed or labeled Elisa who was only 28 years old and could perhaps even change her mind. Journalistic ethics requires that sensitive data, including sexual orientation, should not be disclosed unless it is of fundamental importance in order to offer the public information.

These rules are hardly ever respected, just think of headlines such as “Gay Crime” or the constant references to the sex assigned to the birth of transgender people in the news where they have nothing to do with it, but only if it is lesbianism that has to be named. Many newspapers have chosen to erase Elisa’s identity, history and choices, invisibilizing her as a lesbian, and with her, all of us.

Like all subjectivities that subvert the patriarchal order by their very existence, we lesbians must not be named, or we try to take possession of our stories, misrepresenting them so that our identity is an irrelevant detail and the word lesbian is only used as an insult.

In the face of this tragedy it is important to ask ourselves how it could have happened.

Elisa Pomarelli’s lesbicide is also the result of structural lesbianism that permeates the whole of society.

Every day we hear stories of girls and women attacked in the streets because they exchange a kiss. We hear stories of girls, even very young ones, who are either removed from their families or forced to undergo reparative treatment because they are considered ill. We read about corrective rapes inflicted by fathers and relatives on lesbians. We know that migrant lesbians are asked to show their orientation when they apply for asylum. We know about the violence suffered by lesbians with disabilities, whose lives are systematically denied. We no longer count bullying in schools, dismissals, bullying and sexual harassment in professional contexts.

Lesbian-phobic violence afflicts lesbians daily in all areas of life and can lead, as in the case of Elisa Pomarelli, to the worst tragedy, murder.

This violence is no longer tolerable and we strongly denounce it, because silence and invisibility do not protect us, but our oppressors.

We lesbians all feel involved in this painful affair and recognise its sexist and lesbian-phobic matrix. We are aware that crimes such as this one are the most heinous expression of systemic violence, which affects women and lesbians every day, who are not guaranteed adequate protection.

In this context, it is more urgent than ever to pass a law that recognises an aggravating circumstance for cases of violence against lesbians and women, such as the one that is being discussed in Parliament in recent months.

We believe that this law, if passed in its integral form, represents a significant step forward, while remaining aware that legislative action alone is by no means sufficient to combat homolesbobransphobic hate crimes, which must be fought by making a radical change in culture and society. 

Each of us could have been Elisa. This is why we lesbians all see each other again in her story: we recognise the misogyny and lesbianism that moved the killer’s hand and that we live on our skin every day.

Elisa’s story could have been any one of us.

So that it never happens again, we demand to live in a country where it is possible for lesbians and women to remain free to decide their own lives, reject unwanted relationships, move beyond geographical, architectural and cultural barriers without running the risk of being attacked or killed for it.

ALFI – Associazione Lesbica Femminista Italiana

EL*C – Eurocentralasian Lesbian* Community

Lesbiche Bologna


Rete Donne Transfemminista di Arcigay 

Alfi Le Maree Napoli

Alfi LesbicheXXBergamo

Alfi Lune – Lesbiche del nord est

Associazione Luki Massa

Campo lesbico di Agape

Collettiva Lesbica Occhipazzi Firenze

Gruppo donne “Marielle Franco” –  Arcigay Catania

Albalisa Sampieri 

Alberta Raccis

Adele Medaglia

Alice Chiaruttini

Alice Coffin

Alice Redaelli

Alida Fassiola

Andrea Ayala

Angela Cardeti

Angela Gerardi

Angelica Polmonari 

Anita Lombardi

Anita Sterna

Anna Cerea

Anna Maria Alberini 

Anna Salvemini

Anna  Agnelli

Anna Crugnola

Annalisa Messina

Antonella De Luce

Antonella Parrocchetti

Antonia Caruso

Arianna L’avanti

Camilla Calzone

Charlie Baldon

Chiara Sfregola 

Corine Giangregorio

Cristina Betti

Cristina Rubegni 

Cristina Sereno

Cristina Urgnani

Cristina Sereno

Daniela Malagoli

Daniela Starà

Daniela Tomasino

Dora Colombo

Elisa Coco

Elisa Fraulini

Elisa Manici

Elisa Restivo 

Elisa Santarelli

Elisabetta Sollazzi

Emanuela Perini

Emanuela  Bogatai

Enrica Biselli

Erica  Sereno

Eris Ferrari

Eva Croce

Evien Tjabbes

Fabiana Di Mattia

Fatime Bajraktari

Federica Meloni

Fiamma Becchi

Fiorenza  Rasotto

Flavia Ghiberti

Franca Morelli

Francesca Lazzaretti

Gaia Ciccarelli

Gaia Di Salvo

Gaia Ronzoni

Giada Bonu

Giada Coccia

Gina Verna 

Giorgia Patrizio

Giovanna Bianchi

Giovanna Vingelli

Giulia Balzano

Giulia Mori

Giuliana De Angelis 

Giusy Vanetti

Greta Sartarelli

Gulzada Serzhan

Helena Vukovic

Ilaria Todde

Ilaria Ulgharaita 

Ilenia Pennini

Irene Boschetti


Joelle Sambi Nzeba

Lara Vodani

Laura Bortolotti

Laura Pesce

Laura Polloni

Laura Cepozio

Laura  Magni

Lavinia Durantini

Leila Lohman

Lorenza Tizzi

Lucia Leonardi

Lucia Zanella

Lucia Zisa

Luisa Rizzitelli

Luisa Troncia

Marame Kane

Maria Albanese

Maria Castronovo 

Maria Cristina Mochi

Maria Laricchia

Maria Sozzi

Mariadele Santarone

Marialuisa Favitta

Marilena Grassadonia

Martina Cappai

Martina Loatelli

Martina Tescari

Maruscka Faralli

Mattea Messere

Michela Calabrò

Michela Pascali

Michela Poser

Moju Manuli

Monica  Bossi

Morena Giovanardi

Natascia Maesi 

Natia Gvianishvili

Piera Forlenza

Roberta Barbagli

Roberta Barbagli

Roberta Grella

Roberta Malvermi

Roberta Milano 

Rosa Perrucci

Rossella Pironio

Sabrina Russo

Sabrina Tripodi

Sara Bertolino

Sara Romano

Sara Vanni

Serena Graneri

Silvana Magni

Silvanna Agnelli

Silvia Casalino

Silvia D’ambrosio

Silvia Pastore

Silvia Sottili

Sofia Logli 

Stefania Bufalini

Stefania Tesi

Susanna Vanoni

Sylvia Sestini

Tania Guiducci

Tiffany Andreutti

Tiziana Gatto

Tosca Cellini

Valentina Bianchini 

Valentina Camporeale 

Valentina Corti

Valentina Darpetti

Valentina Delfino

Valentina Gaggi

Valentina Quattrocchi 

Valentina Tripepi Margiotta 

Valeria Nicoli

Vanda  Visconti

Vera Navarria

Veronica Vasarri

Veronica Vernettilli

Vittoria Nicoli

Vlada Thor

Zhanar Sekerbayeva

Atelier Vantaggio Donna

Casa delle donne per non subire violenza – Bologna

GenPol – Gender & Policy Insights

Libera…mente donna ets

Non una di meno – Piacenza

Rebel Network 

Voci Di Donne Biella

A Voce Alta Salerno

Agedo Nazionale

Apple Pie: l’amore merita LGBT+

Arcigay Nazionale 

Arcigay Agorà Pesaro e Urbino

Arcigay Arezzo Chimera Arcobaleno 

Arcigay Catania 

Arcigay Cremona

Arcigay Cuneo GrandaQueer

Arcigay del Trentino

Arcigay EOS Cosenza

Arcigay Ferrara

Arcigay Genova

Arcigay I Due Mari Reggio Calabria 

Arcigay Il Cassero Bologna

Arccigay Mantova La Salamandra 

Arcigay Modena Matthew Shepard

Arcigay Palermo

Arcigay Pianeta Milk Verona 

Arcigay Ravenna

Arcigay Salento

Arcigay Siena

Arcigay Strambopoli QueerTown Taranto 

Arcigay Torino “Ottavio Mai”

Associazione Lgbt+ IL GROVIGLIO Biella 

Associazione LogoSiena

Associazione Studentesca Universitaria Iris

Associazione Quore

Azione Gay e Lesbica Firenze 

Bergamo pride

Centaurus Arcigay Alto Adige Südtirol


Cooperativa sociale Hara

Coordinamento Taranto Pride 2020 

Famiglie Arcobaleno

Hermes Academy

IREOS comunità queer autogestita Firenze 

Mixed Lgbti  –  Bari

Movimento Pansessuale


Officineperegrine Teatro

Omphalos Lgbti

Polis Aperta 

Alessandro Camposano

Alessandro Rizzi 

Claudio Tosi 

Dario Castellani

Dario Pavia

Federico Pontillo

Francesco Donini

Francesco Mauro

Francesco Musillo

Francesco Tinivella

Gianmarco Caniglia 

Giuseppe Antonioli

Lorenzo De Preto

Luca Vida

Luigi Pignatelli

Pippi Todisco

Silvio Cilento

Tommaso Simaz

Yuuki Gaudiuso



Corriere della Sera


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