Giovanni Damiano Presenza

Gio’s been on quite a warpath since his art was removed from a local cafe on account of his bigoted opinions. Naturally, Gio denies being a bigot, is making a lot of very dubious arguments, says he’s the real victim in all this and has gone on the offensive. Gio has no case and his legal threats are ridiculous. We doubt any local journalist is going to choose to highlight this incident and the Ontario Human Rights Commission definitely have better things to do.

First of all, here are some of the transphobic posts that resulted in Gio’s art being removed from Scrabbalatte.

It’s not just a recent thing either.

We’d also like to note that this post came from the Canadian Combat Coalition National group on Facebook.

We thought it looked like some of his posts had been copied and pasted from other places on the web and indeed that is the case.

(https://www.quora.com/Some-believe-that-Western-civilization-has-collapsed-ethical-and-moral-values-of-society-Is-that-true)

(https://www.higheredtoday.org/2018/10/17/paradox-free-speech-america-today/)

We’ll leave it to our readers to decide what to make of that, but that’s something to keep in mind when you browse his social media. Gio has also been on the clown world trip lately and it’s worth talking about his sense of “humor” for a moment.

Here’s a few links if you’re hearing about clown world for the first time. The short story is that it is a meme made by racists and clown world is the Jews running the world. How much Gio knows/understands that we don’t know, but his joke isn’t funny.

We don’t think this is funny at all either.

Gio can say all he wants to about the OK sign, but it is used as a hate symbol, context matters and the context here isn’t great. The same goes for the clown world meme he is fond of.

This isn’t a joke for the trans people, Jews and immigrants who these views directly harm. We’ve had several people mention this guy and his toxic presence in the arts scene to us now. His bigoted outbursts are not victimless or harmless and Gio’s human rights certainly not being violated by a cafe doing the right thing and taking down a piece of his art. It’s a slap in people’s faces when they walk into a place and see this guy’s artwork on the wall and they have every right to demand his stuff be taken down.

You can either support the marginalized people that are the target of Gio’s hate or you can support Gio.

You can not do both.

We’re disturbed that this hateful man is taken seriously by the local arts scene and appears to actually have quite a bit of support. We’d like to believe that his supporters are simply a few minor scenesters and downtown bar flies, but there are signs this is not the case. We’re going to redact this person’s name, but this is some astounding ignorance.

And it’s not re-assuring when you find this in their bio.

We’ve written a bit before about the problems with the arts community, so this is not a huge surprise for us, but it’s still disappointing and a reminder of how much work there is to be done.

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