Gay History – May 7, 1365: 15-Year-Old Giovanni di Giovanni Tortured and Killed for the Crime of Sodomy in Italy

Giovanni di Giovanni (1350 – 1365) is one of the youngest victims of the campaign against homosexuality waged in 14th-century Florence., Italy.

Giovanni’s persecution came on the heels of the Black Death, the bubonic plague epidemic which had ravaged the city two years earlier. Some of the most influential people of the religious establishment, such as Bernardino of Siena, blamed sodomites for having brought the wrath of God down on the heads of the populace. The “remedy” they promoted was to purify the city of evil by means of fire, leading to burnings at the stake and other punishments (red-hot iron) such as that suffered by poor young boy.

Di Giovanni was labeled “a public and notorious passive sodomite” and convicted by the Podestà court of being the passive partner of a number of different men. His punishment was to be paraded on the back of an ass, then to be publicly castrated. Finally, he was to have his anus burned with a red-hot iron (or, as the sentence read: “[punished] in that part of the body where he allowed himself to be known in sodomitical practice”) 

He did not survive the ordeal.

So as you can see extremist Christians have blamed the misfortune and disasters that fell upon them on homosexuals for centuries and we have been persecuted and murdered us because of their hatred and bigotry. 

And some still do till this very day.

9 thoughts on “Gay History – May 7, 1365: 15-Year-Old Giovanni di Giovanni Tortured and Killed for the Crime of Sodomy in Italy

  1. God bless the soul of young Giovanni, I know Jesus will condemn the evil torture of this young man, these monsters do not know the love and mercy of Christianity, to hell with them. So sorry for this young man, heart breaking. He will be forgiven for his sins and have a place in heaven I’m sure. But the creatures that horrifically tortured this young boy, they are doomed. As the bible says “Mercy will only be shown to the merciful”. I’d love to meet Giovanni in the next life, just to tell him how sorry I am that these monsters claiming to be Christian did that to him. They are devils claiming to be righteous. NOT IN OUR NAME.

      1. “Thou shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.”—Leviticus 18:22. Leviticus 20:13 adds: “They shall be put to death.” (I’m just providing the source, not agreeing with it.)

  2. I would like to know the title, and name of the painter of the work used to illustrate this story. I would also like to know the title of the source material used for the report. Would any of that be possible? I know that in France the sin of sodomy in the middle ages was usually punished by the wearing a cross sewn onto one’s clothing for a number of years so that everyone would know what you did and that burning was used to prevent the collection of relics from the executed person and itemized lists of expenses exist to the point of so many pence for a nail. Therefore, it is reasonable to think that records of the trial and execution still exist.

    1. That is not a depiction of Giovanni’s murder, but rather the torture of two heretics from around the same time period.

  3. I am sickened by this. These evil maniacs tortured and murdered young Giovanni…over love. Imagine what Giovanni must have been thinking in that moment. And nobody thought this “punishment” was overboard? Seriously? Nobody thought “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t do this to him over love”? They all just thought “Yeah, let’s torture him”. I’d also be willing to bet that his trial wasn’t even fair. They probably just forced him to confess and used that as “evidence”.

    Rest in Peace Giovanni. You will not be forgotten.

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