How did you come out to the company?
I’ve never really considered it appropriate to talk about my private life with my colleagues other than those I am closest to, because there is always some fear around it; you never really know what the person’s reaction will be. In 2013, though, Elisa and I decided to get married and that was quite complicated: the Cirinnà law was still far from a reality, we had to travel to Germany because it wasn’t allowed in Italy, and above all we wouldn’t be allowed a regular marriage leave unless the company became involved. I built up some courage (as did Elisa), I talked to the bosses about it...and it went well! I've been granted paid leave equal to marriage leave! So, I told my colleagues, and it was a “combo” coming out because I told them that I was getting married, that the other person was a woman and that I was going on my honeymoon!
So, you and your wife were the first people in Italy to be granted paid leaves (yours from TIM) of the same duration as that granted for a marriage leave. Now, for the birth of your daughter, the company has supported you with financial support for the assisted procreation process. What can you tell us about this new chapter in your life?
Well, deciding to have a child is a choice that then leads you to facing a thousand doubts and a thousand obstacles. If this then involves a LGBT parents, the doubts and obstacles are multiplied even further. The company’s extraordinary contribution has certainly helped to break down some of these obstacles. The adventure started last year with the first trips to Valencia, and really went live on 7 March, when Adele was born! The pandemic and lockdown did make it all a little stranger; our doubts remain, as do our fears of how people might perceive us, but we were lucky and seeing Adele's smile every morning makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Was inclusion an equally defining factor in both your life and work experience?
When I read the news, especially the most recent news, I realise that I have always been very lucky, because neither in my family nor at work have I ever found obstacles or prejudices against how I am, either before or after coming out. I mean, there’s always that underlying fear that sooner or later I will meet someone who does not respect me for who I am, but the certainty of having support behind me, being able to count on a family that believes in me and on an inclusive workplace is definitely a strength that gives me courage and allows me to face difficulties with an extra edge.
What’s your idea of an “inclusive” company? In your experience, can this approach still be avoided?
When I asked for a marriage leave, although I realised that the request was unusual, my manager told me that she would still insist on a positive outcome, not because it was me, but because she believed it was my right. This sentence, which she said so naturally, in a way that unfortunately still can’t always be counted on in a country like ours, is the basis of inclusivity. This inclusivity which, when practiced at the company level, allows people to work peacefully, without feeling that they are wrong, or excluded, or treated differently because they are labelled as 'other'.