Pictured is Mr Gay Limerick Christian Moretti at Limerick Pride Parade 2016. Photo taken by Carlos Dasco.
Christian Moretti, a 32-year old Italian teacher at Coláiste Chiarain in Croom was recently crowned Mr Gay Limerick on Saturday, July 2. Since his victory, I Love Limerick caught up with Christian Moretti to see how he was getting on.
“It’s been fantastic. The support I’ve been getting from a lot of people – the whole city really – has been absolutely fantastic.” Christian said, with a big smile on his face. The Italian teacher has gained huge public interest from Mr Gay Limerick and there have been online articles written about him congratulating his achievement. “I saw loads of comments from my old students and their parents and they were all lovely comments. They say they’re very happy for me and they’re proud. It’s just been an amazing experience.”
As a teacher, he now has the summer months off but likes to keep himself busy as a novelist and a journalist. Christian also has his hands full with his plans as Mr Gay Limerick. Firstly, his priority is to raise money for Pieta House and has set up a justgiving page for people to donate whatever they can. “At the moment there’s nearly €200 in two days so that’s good, I’m very happy with that. There’s also a short story which I wrote coming out which will be a contribution towards Pieta House as well.”
He is also working at creating a number of workshops across Limerick which will discuss a number of different topics that are important to make young people aware of. There will be workshops on STDs, relationships in general and particularly covering toxic relationships and abusive relationships. He’s also hoping to host a number of social events – for example table quizzes – to bring people together and donate to Pieta House.
“I chose Pieta House to raise money for because it’s a very important charity. Here in Limerick especially it’s very important. Pieta House do an amazing job and they get no additional funding from the state so I’d like to support them as much as possible. There’s a lot of LGBTQI people who are especially at risk of suicide, because maybe they’re not accepted in their families or their friend groups or they’re bullied. I feel that it’s the best charity I could have chosen to be honest. It’s very important so hopefully we’ll raise as much money as possible.”
On top of that, Christian has been forthright in calling for a hate crime legislation to be introduced. “I think the petition is important because a lot of countries in Europe have the same problem. Even in Italy where I’m from, we don’t have any legislation for hate crimes and it’s pretty much the same here. Only if we achieve this sort of legislation, we can come up with the best step forward towards equality.”
Christian is heavily involved in teaching his students about LGBTQI rights and terminologies in the community. “I try to get the point across that what we’re talking about in class is completely normal and completely fine.” He hopes that in doing so, it creates an environment that is easier for students to come out.
To finish the interview, I Love Limerick asked Christian to give some advice that he would give to a student or anyone in the LGBTQI community who felt nervous about coming out or was bullied. “I would tell them to first of all speak to someone. Mental health is the most important thing really – not keeping everything inside you. Discuss with a best friend or a family member or even a councillor from your school. I would say to be happy, live the life you want to live that’s the most important thing.”
Christian Moretti will be competing for Mr Gay Ireland which is expected to be on around April next year. To compete there and represent Limerick in the competition is a fantastic achievement for Christian. All of us from I Love Limerick wish him the best of luck!
To donate to Christian’s appeal for Pieta House click here.
To order Christian Moretti’s short story (Which contributes towards Pieta House also) click here.
For more news about the LGBTQI community from I Love Limerick click here.