First Italian lesbian to come out dies

Maths lecturer lost everything, became homeless after coming out

(ANSA) - Bolzano, November 8 - Mariasilvia Spolato, the woman credited with being the first Italian lesbian to come out, has died at the age of 83, the Alto Adige daily newspaper reported a photographer who knew her as saying.
    Spolato, a university lecturer who graduated in mathematics with full marks, died at a rest home in Bolzano a few days ago, Lorenzo Zambello said.
    She reportedly lost everything, her job, her partner and her family ties, after coming out in 1972 and she ended up living homeless on the streets of the northern city for some time. "All the staff at the rest home were upset and pained," said Zambello.
    "Silvia had won everyone's heart. It was an honour for me to be able to photograph her.
    "She did not like being shot.
    "While we were doing portraits at the rest home in the spring, she approached me". The GayLib association paid tribute to "a historic lesbian militant, one of the pioneers of the Italian homosexual liberation movement".