Main | Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Real Velvet Mafia

An Italian prosecutor who has brought down several local mafia families says that gay mafiosi are "too scared to come out of the closet", but that American crime families are more forgiving of homo wiseguys.

Antonio Ingroia, who has helped bring several bosses to justice, said: "Being gay is still a taboo for Italian society in general, let alone the Mafia, which is an archaic organisation. "These bosses have to cover their homosexuality; they're afraid because they risk being ridiculed and killed." Mr Ingroia said that the American Mafia had "a more broad-minded attitude towards gays and so gay bosses can come out."

Times have certainly changed. In 2003, a mob informer told a New York court that the gay head of the mafia family on which The Sopranos series based was executed by his own men because they feared the family would be ridiculed by the rest of the underworld. Anthony Capo told the trial: "Nobody's gonna respect us if we have a gay homosexual boss sitting down discussing Cosa Nostra business." John "Johnny Boy" D'Amato, head of the De Cavalcante family, the biggest in the state of New Jersey, was shot dead in 1992 after it was rumoured that he had relationships with other men. Capo told the court: "It shocked me he couldn't be acting that way - he was a leader of men."
Well, the American mafia did historically run the NYC gay bar scene.

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