The Italian Mafia has reportedly opened its doors to gay men for the first time, as long as they don’t “parade” it in public.
The ‘Ndrangheta is the wealthiest crime family in Southern Italy. The Mafia-type organisation, based out of Italy’s Calabria (the toe of Italy’s “boot”), is reportedly now open to allowing gays their ranks.
The ‘Ndrangheta family is allegedly responsible for tens of billions in the European cocaine trade.
Last week the 61-year-old anti-mafia investigator and famous Italian public prosecutor, Nicola Gratteri told the London Times that openly gay men can run with the Mafia. Though the mob still keeps a proverbial ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.
“The mafia have evolved along with society,” he said.
“Gays can be accepted now, even as foot soldiers, so long as they don’t parade it in public.”
Gratteri also hinted to the apparent ‘softening’ of contemporary mob culture, as even organised crime begins to progress socially.
“I’ve brought to trial the grandfathers and fathers of today’s bosses. They were impassive in the face of long prison sentences. The young today can’t take the stress of prison in the way their parents did. They get paranoid, depressed. They’re more fragile.”
Gratteri has lived under police protection for the last 30 years to defend him from various mafia assassination attempts. This has prevented him from going to a movie theatre, beach, restaurant or even any of his children’s school plays over the last two decades.
Now, Gratteri claims that he has reportedly read “passionate” love letters between a crime boss and a young lieutenant, eavesdropped on foot soldiers admitting their love of drag bars, and learned about the son of a mob chief who works as a drag performer named ‘Lady Godiva’.
After revealing this information, Gratteri was shocked to receive emails accusing him of being “insensitive” for declaring the Mafia’s had gone soft, which still beats the usual death threats.
However, Gratteri still has a giant target on his back. In 2005 he overheard a boss and his son-in-law casually chatting about plans to murder him, and in 2017 police uncovered a plot to blow him up with 36lb of plastic explosives.
Other members of the ‘Ndrangheta family also operate in northern Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the rest of Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia.
The mob and the LGBTQI community have had a tense history, with mere rumours of homosexuality being enough to get a mob member murdered in the past.
“It undermines their image of themselves as tough, virile guys,” he said.
New Jersey mob boss John “Johnny Boy” D’Amato was killed in 1992 after his girlfriend told another member of the crime family that he was bisexual.