Stop calling me gay, says fashion designer Stefano Gabbana
Designer Stefano Gabbana no longer wants to be known as a gay man.
The designer, who co-founded the Dolce & Gabbana fashion house, has sparked outrage in the past with his views on same-sex parents.
Speaking to Italian publication Corriere della Sera over the weekend, he rejected attempts to define his sexuality.
“I don’t want to be called gay, because I’m simply a man … full stop,” he said.
“The word ‘gay’ was invented by those who need to label people,” he added, according to AFP.
“I don’t want to be identified by my sexual choices.”
Gabbana, 55, started his world-famous fashion label with partner Domenico Dolce in 1984, and despite separating 13 years ago, they continue to work together.
Gabbana explained: “I thought that I could help spread a new culture as a famous person, a culture no longer based on gay rights but on human rights.
“We are human beings before being gay, heterosexual or bisexual,” he added.
Gay associations, he continued, “often serve as a defence, but I don’t want to be protected by anyone, because I’ve done nothing wrong”.
Gabbana did however open up about the moment he began to understand that he was attracted to men.
He remembered taking his girlfriend to a dance when he was 18 and realising that he “was watching the men more than her.”
He added: “I had known for a while, but I didn’t have the courage to admit it.
“Only through therapy did I realise that there had been clear signs in my childhood.
“I wanted to play alone … because I felt different from the other children and I feared that if we were together they would realise.
“And they would tell my mother.”
In 2015, Gabbana and Domenico Dolce faced a boycott when they lashed out at same-sex adoption, IVF and surrogacy, hitting out at “synthetic” children of gay people.
The pair sparked a bitter feud with Sir Elton John– whose sons Zachary and Elijah were born via IVF – leading Gabbana to brand him a “fascist”.
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The fashion designers later apologised for their remarks, but again faced boycott threats this year after dressing First Lady Melania Trump.
“We are Italian and we don’t care about politics and mostly neither about the American one!” he wrote on Instagram.
“We make dresses and if you think about doing politics with a post it’s simply ignorant.”