Introduction for the Gallery: L’Aquila
Sometime in the mid 1980’s, I traveled to L’Aquila specifically to see if I could locate the grave of the German gay pioneer, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs. After publishing his essays and failing to convince the government to amend the German Penal Code that criminalized homosexuality, Ulrichs went to Italy where, after visiting most of the country, he settled in the out-of-the-way town of L’Aquila in central Italy, where he lived until his death in 1895.
After scouting out the cemetary where I thought he was likely buried, I convinced the officials in charge to examine the book recording the burials. We found the reference to his internment but they told me that his grave no longer existed because there would have been no family to pay for its upkeep. Unfortunately, after taking photos of the page where his name and death date is listed (in the Gallery: “Writers, Composers and Academics”), I gave up my quest.
A few years later, Hubert Kennedy – who wrote a biography of Ulrichs – found the actual grave. The Wikipedia reference states that the grave has been restored and that there is an annual ceremony held on the spot.