ITALIAN fashion designer Stefano Gabbana, one half of the iconic Dolce & Gabbana brand, said in a new interview that he’s tired of being labelled by his sexuality.
“I don’t want to be called gay, because I’m simply a man … full stop,” the 55-year-old said in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera daily.
“The word ‘gay’ was invented by those who need to label people, and I don’t want to be identified by my sexual choices,” he said.
Gabbana launched the luxury fashion label in 1985 with his partner Domenico Dolce, and although they separated in 2004 the couple continued to work together.
“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,” Gabbana said.
The Milanese couturier said gay associations “often serve as a defence, but I don’t want to be protected by anyone, because I’ve done nothing wrong”.
He said he realised he was homosexual aged 18, when his girlfriend “who I really liked” came to visit him for a weekend in Milan, but when they went dancing he “was watching the men more than her”.
“I had known [about being gay] 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,” he added.
It’s not the first time comments by the fashion designer have caused outrage.
In 2015, Gabbana and Dolce said didn’t agree with gay couples having IVF children.
In an interview at the time, Dolce said: “You are born to a mother and a father, or at least that’s how it should be. I call them children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalogue.”
His comments infuriated Elton John, who has two sons conceived through IVF via a surrogate with his husband David Furnish.
“How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’”, John wrote via Instagram.
“And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF — a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.