ARCO is an association based on core values such as freedom, solidarity, mutual respect and environmental awareness. It pursues the protection of civil rights, it supports the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, it believes in the secularity of the State, in civil liberty and in equality.
ARCO was established in 2018 as an initiative promoted by one of the most relevant network of clubs dedicated to the LGBTI community and present all over the country. These clubs are also usually referred to as “gay clubs”.
Thanks to this network, LGBTI people found safe and welcoming places in contrast to a social context and a public discourse that is dominated by prejudice, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, often involving violent episodes.
ARCO aims to valorize meeting and socialization opportunities that since the ‘80s have been allowing thousands of people to get to know themselves, their sexuality and the others better. This way ARCO intends to contribute to a more secular and democratic society where nobody will be denied their right to pursue their happiness.
In a time of big changes and social contradictions, where a partial affirmation of civil liberties is chased by intolerance, authoritarianism and sexophobia, ARCO thinks it is necessary – now more than ever, to valorize body talk and sexuality as defining elements for the construction of positive human relations, which are all aspects made up of many sides that are yet to be explored, practiced and cherished on a cultural level, while keeping an eye on important topics such as information, awareness and prevention.
Thus, ARCO supports and promotes the creation and the development of safe and welcoming spaces that are open to anyone who is willing to share our values, where people can meet and get to know one another, openly live their sexuality and their sexual orientation as well as their gender identity, while benefiting from essential services and information regarding their psychophysical health.
ARCO is well aware of its history, predominantly dedicated to activities for men, and now declares its commitment in contrasting machista culture by directly intervening on its members and addressing social issues such as sexism, which is unfortunately very present among homosexual men as well.
As a matter of fact, ARCO thinks that gender stereotypes based on sexism aren’t just humiliating and unfair towards women, but they are detrimental for men too, as they are pushed to follow certain stereotypes according to which a man is a “real man” only if he is physically strong and psychologically dominant.
Therefore, ARCO is very committed to contrasting machismo through the creation of a different concept of gender that can surpass stereotypes.