Acquiesce...this is pure Italian behavior. We (Italians, and Italian Americans) are among the most touchy-feely people around. Even platonically, even when sober! <img src= ALT=":D">

We hug when we're happy, sad, reuniting with someone.
It's like eating. We eat when we're happy, sad,
reuniting with someone.....<img src= ALT=":D"> <img src= ALT=":D">


Re: hugs

As a member of an extended I-A family, I agree with you, Sofia. The men hug and kiss each other whenever they meet or leave one another or during emotional moments, as well as the women. No one thinks for a second that this is unmasculine or gay behavior; it's an accepted and normal custom in Italian culture. It's not unusual in some other cultures or countries as well.

And as a female, I'm a little uncomfortable with guys who don't/won't touch other guys socially a la The Sopranos. Some other issues usually accompany the fear of physical intimacy. My husband isn't Italian, but after we got engaged he learned to relax and take part in the show of male affection and comraderie. Now, my grown thirty-something stepsons bond in the same way with my Italian male relatives and think it's cool.

A suggestion to the uptight manly males out there: watch and learn. This battered and bombed-out old world could do with a few more more hugs and kisses, no?

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... kedZiti</A> at: 3/15/04 5:17 pm

Could Tony Blundetto be gay?

This is probably as good a thread as any to mention that another forum with some pretty observant posters are speculating whether Tony Blundetto might be gay.

Among the possible indicia of a gay subtext, they mentioned the inordinate amount of hugging between the two Tonys. And while I agree with all the observations above about Italian (and European) culture and comfort with males displaying affection through hugs and kisses, I, too, noticed when I watched the episode that there was a good bit more hugging than usual.

Some also mentioned Tony S looking at the naked pictures of the two Tonys as babies and remarking that even then his "cannoli" was bigger. (*Note: I don't think anyone was seriously contending that Tony S is gay or is repressing any gay urges, only that this remark could be one thread of a gay subtext underlying Tony B's introduction.)

They mentioned Tony B gravitating to the massage thing, in and of itself, as well as his quip while working on Vito that there's nothing like years in the can to learn how to "ease a man's tensions". (I assume they meant his joking about it was a little reverse psychology, feigning comfort in his heterosexuality by joking around as if he'd done men in the can.) They also pointed to what Tony's viewpoint was when he entered that room -- which, at that point, would have been seeing Tony B almost on top of Vito with his whole body. Tony S displayed a visceral disgust immediately, which led to him blessing Tony B out in the parking lot, so perhaps Tony S had a fleeting thought about Tony B being gay.

Some felt Tony B's wide-eyed ogling of Meadow could possibly have been more of that gay man/straight woman thing of looking at attractive women and complimenting their appearance rather than the almost inappropriate, dirty old man ogling that it seemed at face value.

I would add that it was a tad unusual that Tony B was not shown being offered or receiving the favors of a Bada Bing girl, given he was fresh out of prison and that that sort of "gift" is standard issue first night out from Tony and company. I'd also point to Tony's remark about the ranger in episode one being "light in the Timberlands" and Carmela's response that Tony is always ready to call a man gay, presumably if he isn't outwardly macho enough.

The thing that really gave me pause on the possibility of this scenario being correct is something I read online last year involving a real-life mafia incident with some indirect Sopranos connections. This season has drawn heavy inspiration from actual news events in New Jersey over the last couple of years (the whole class of 2004 thing as reported in the Star Ledger, the wild bears showing up in peoples' yards). So with that in mind, read the following news story from May of 2003 and tell me if it doesn't sound ripe for inclusion in a Sopranos storyline:

<span style="color:maroon;">Secret gay life leaves Mafia capo capped
May 3 2003

The boss of the Mafia family on which the TV series The Sopranos is believed to be based was executed by one of his own soldiers because he was gay and they feared that if news got out the family would be ridiculed by the rest of the underworld, a Manhattan court has been told.

"Nobody's gonna respect us if we have a gay homosexual boss sitting down discussing La Cosa Nostra business," an informer told the court.

John "Johnny Boy" D'Amato, head of the DeCavalcante family, the biggest Mafia family in New Jersey, was shot dead in 1992 after it was rumoured that he was having relationships with other men.

When a DeCavalcante soldier, Anthony Capo, heard the tale from D'Amato's girlfriend he was incredibly angry.

"She told me John D'Amato and her were going to sex clubs in the city, swapping partners and John was engaging in homosexual activity," Capo told the court on Wednesday. "It shocked me . . . He couldn't be acting that way - he was a leader of men."

Capo was giving evidence in the trial of Stefano "Steve" Vitabile and two other mobsters charged with racketeering, murder and conspiracy.

Early in 1992 Capo and another man, Victor DiChiara, picked up D'Amato from his girlfriend's home. As D'Amato sat in the back of the car, Capo turned and shot him four times.

In Mafia culture there is a strict taboo against homosexuality.

"It's all predicated on male prowess and violence," said Clare Longrigg, author of a forthcoming book, No Questions Asked: The Secret Life of Women in the Mob.

"They all have wives and they all have at least one mistress. If they are gay then they would have to keep it incredibly quiet."

So strong is the prejudice that even after the family's leaders had approved D'Amato's murder, they had to be careful how they went about it, lest word of his sexual orientation leaked out.

Normally they would have had to confer with the heads of other crime families before executing someone as senior as D'Amato.

But to share the news was considered so humiliating that they preferred to break Mafia law instead.

"We knew we'd have to sneak him - kill him without permission," Capo said.</span>

a link to the article:


Why not?

I am quite sure a number of men in the LCN are closet bisexuals or homosexuals or keep it well away from the others. Why should the numbers be any different than the general population. I am quite sure not all LCN members have ladies on the side and are loyal to their wives. How many times did people on the old board question if Paulie was gay? So could Tony B be homosexual or bisexual - why not! It could also spice up the plotlines too, maybe with the other guys getting unconfortable being around a homosexual, or it being used against him by the boys or the feds.


Re: Why not?

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Why should the numbers be any different than the general population.<hr></blockquote>

Well, for the same reason that certain occupations/associations attract an inordinately high number of gay men (e.g., dance, theatre, music (particularly classical music), and artistic endeavors generally), there are those that repel an inordinately high number gay men. I'd bet my right arm that the Mafia is one of the latter, along with American football, hockey, boxing, and basketball. The testosterone-fueled propensity for physical aggression and real or sublimated violence attending all of these is quite simply not possessed or valued by very many gay men. In addition, those that do possess it must be willing to live a complete lie in order to escape the ostricism or outright persecution they would face by peers within those groups.

Yes there are undoubtedly a small number of gay men within all these groups, but their percentages are certain to be well below that in the general population, IMO.



I, too, was suspicious of the hugfest. Granted, male-to-male affection is a norm in IA culture. At the same time, in this episode it felt to me as though the hugging was an expression of the ego defense of reaction formation. It served as a means to subvert and redirect hostility/tension/conflict. Example: During tense moments between Tony S. and Tony B., rather than aggress upon one and other, they instead erupted over and over again into hugging, back-slapping, etc. In this episode hugging was definitely eerie....


Re: Hugs...

He hasn't seen him in over 15 years... I don't think there is a gay thing at all with it... If anything, this has already been covered in the show with Ralphie...

As Carm would say; It's always a gay thing with you....

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