07/16/2014 10:31 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

In Italy, Adoption by Gay Couples Is Still Illegal

In Italy there are showgirls arriving from abroad only to be finished after one program for kids; there are countless journalists, writing about the World Cup, feminism, and sex, dropping their handbags in the bleachers; and there are newborns who, after three or four months, leave the world and their mothers forever. Goodbye. There are thugs, dangerous neighborhoods, old people who have nothing, endless hospital corridors. In Italy there's the Senate, where the Democratic Party's proposal on civil unions is set for its nth discussion. Civil unions; no one speaks of gay marriage. Can you imagine? In Italy, practically speaking, adoption does not exist (according to the text of Senator Monica Cirinnà, "all the laws, decrees, and regulations in place regarding marriage apply to civil union, except for adoption, for which see article 6, 4 May 1983, point 184").

And I am in, and not in, Italy. I haven't been in Italy for a year. It's a simple choice of mine. I am not there, after cruel mornings like the ones I've spent reading attacks on my sexuality (I was gay at the age of 3 and a half), and on The Huffington Post: Ma basta con questo inno alla gaytudine quotidiana, cinque articoli al giorno sui gay e zero sul Darfur ("Enough of this hymn to gay life, five articles every day on gays and none on Darfur"); Ma puoi guarire! ("But you can be cured!"); A me piace la figa, ma a tre anni non me ne rendevo conto ("I like pussy, but I didn't know it when I was three"); Questa è tutta propaganda LGBT della peggior specie ... strumentalizzazioni da parte di Goldman Sachs e di un manipolo di gay i cui capi sono anche per la pedofilia ("This is all LGBT propaganda of the worst kind ... manipulations by Goldman Sachs and a bunch of gays whose bosses also support pedophilia"); Meglio andare in edicola a comprare Mickey Mouse ("You're better off going to the newsstand to buy Mickey Mouse"); Ma a noi che ce ne frega? Cazzi -- è il caso di dirlo -- suoi! ("What does this have to do with us? This fucking business -- pun intended -- is your own"); I finanziatori del 'genderismo' alimentano l'equivoco presso le masse ("The financiers of 'gender identity' promote this confusion among the masses"). Yes, in Italy there are those who -- on social media, above all -- speak of curing the gays when they read a statement like "I was gay, at the age of three and a half." There is someone who would still like to cure me. Words are thrown about, curses, laughter. And encouragement. From some of you good angels. And I thank you.

Once in his life, even the most secure person of all asks himself whether what he is doing is so wonderful. If it resembles nothing else. The other night in New York the moon was exploding with blinding white light. And it reminded me that what I am doing is, perhaps, a little depressing, not entirely welcoming, and bittersweet, but genuine. It was like being in a coma and waking the next morning feeling that one was still out walking at night. I was close to going into hiding. I was afraid. A rushed phone call to say to those who had believed in me, "Cursed be the day that I told my story to Gay Voices. Cursed be the days when I spent so much time alone. Cursed be anger. And courage. Even friends." Since I first felt this pain, no one had been close to me. But at a moment when all help was gone, the greatest friend in the world returned. My friend, and Stella's. My friend. Guide. And poet. Angelina returned. She who has always accepted me and my imaginary girlfriend. She who saw Stella with her own eyes when she was small, and who told me that the air was full of magical wings. This week Angelina sang me a song and said Let Your Heart Be Mine. I'm beginning again from here. I have a new heart, and one day other hearts will come.

Filippo is an Italian journalist who wanted to become a wizard. Stella is his imaginary friend. Filippo and Stella live in New York after having escaped from Italy. These are their adventures in the Big Apple.

Stella #3: "Hey Sister, Go Sister!"

Stella #2: "The Little (Gay) Prince Who Wanted to Commit Suicide"

Stella #1: "How I Escaped Italy's Homophobia With My Imaginary Friend"