Two young women who wanted to show their displeasure with an anti-LGBT politician decided to take him by surprise after they asked for a selfie with him.
Social activists Gaia Parisi and Matilde Rizzo are just friends, not sexual partners, but when Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who is openly anti-LGBTQ, visited their hometown, the 19-year-olds decided to photobomb him with a same-sex kiss.
Salvini, who is leader of the far-right, anti-immigrant League Party, angered a lot of people when he recently endorsed and addressed an anti-LGBT and anti-abortion World Congress of Families event in Verona, Italy.
Salvini further angered people by snubbing Italy’s annual Liberation Day, which celebrates the end of fascism and Nazism, in favor of promoting a local candidate in Sicily and speaking against the mafia.
So, when Salvini was in Caltanissetta, Sicily, this week, the two teenagers who were taking part in a protest at the venue decided to take a photo with Salvini as he was taking photos with his supporters.
They went over to him, queued with others for a photo with him, and when it was their turn to be photographed, just before the camera clicked, they kissed each other as a dare to him.
Security immediately separated both women. But Salvini handled it well. He said he wished them well, and that they “have sons”. He then patted Rizzo on the head, Parisi said.
Speaking about the daring photo they took with Salvini, Parisi told CNN: “(Ours is) … a message of love and tolerance against the language and the attitude of hatred that politicians like Matteo Salvini keep spreading. But also it’s an encouragement not to give up, to keep protesting against discrimination and injustices, because even a simple and natural act like a kiss can open a political debate.”
Parisi shared the photo on Instagram because she believes politicians such as Salvini use social media “in a totally improper way.”
The photo went viral on Instagram and later Salvini reposted it with the message: “Best wishes, peace and good, sisters.”
Parisi added: “We decided to use all the means at our disposal to protest peacefully, to be able to send our message through the platforms that unfortunately, today, seems to be the main platforms by which our ministers communicate with citizens. If the inadequacy of the medium was not enough, I think that the use they make of it is really improper.”