Francesco Mirabelli has been involved in the Italian LGBTQ+ club scene the last 18 years. These years are enough for him to know this field better than anyone. For those who do not know much about Francesco, he is not just the king of the Italian LGBTQ+ scene, he is also serving fantasies as an editor of @boniacaso and @queefmagazine . Let’s learn more about Francesco. Bienvenido!
Who is Paconazim?
Paconazim is the alias of Francesco Mirabelli. It’s the name I chose when I started working in the world of events, and more specifically in the Roman and non-Roman queer parties. The name comes from Paco (Francesco) and Nazim, as a tribute to Nazim Hikmet Turkish poet.
How do you identify and how would you describe yourself?
I don’t identify myself, I’m proudly and fabulously queer. For many years (let’s not give how many) I have been dealing with queer events and not only in Rome. Cities where I have settled for several years. I’m from Calabria, originally from Rende, a small town in the province of Cosenza. I always want to clarify my origins also this proudly “terrone”.
Talk to me about your projects: “Tsquirt” and “QUEEF Magazine”. How did you come up with those ideas and what does each one represent?
T-Squirt and QUEEF Magazine are two projects that I have been taking care of for about 3 years with my brother Enrico and our third partner Micio. T-Squirt was born as a T-shirt brand, and as the name suggests, we sketch ideas on T-shirts and more. QUEEF Magazine, on the other hand, came later as a T-Squirt content market requirement but soon took its own way, and now they are two separate sites. Over time, T-Squirt has transformed from a brand to a store where all those realities of independent productions find space, not only dedicated to t-shirts. Young creatives and craftsmen collaborate with us. QUEEF Magazine instead has become a magazine that deals with issues related to sexuality in all its facets, with interviews with artists, photographers and illustrators. But not only that, we also carry out surveys and insights on the various aspects of sexuality.
What the two projects have in common is that we want to reflect with a smile and fight the bigotry that is still present in our society, not only the Italian one.
What does QUEEF stand for?
QUEEF is the noise of the vagina, and we chose this name because with our magazine we want to “make noise” or better as our Facebook group (QUEEF Stories) suggests, we share noisy stories;)
And what about your new project “Boniacaso”?
Bonicaso is a project linked to QUEEF Magazine or better to the Facebook group that I mentioned in the previous question. When the group was born (5 or 6 years ago), I liked to share homoerotic photos of photographer and models and I labeled posts with the words #bonicaaso. Hence the idea of making a Facebook page first and then an Instragram page, and during this quarantine period I decided to grow the Instragram page by working hard and with excellent results.
Boniacaso wants to be a container of fabulousness, we post artistic photos (some of the photographers also appear in the photo galleries of queefmagazine.com), we share in our stories the photos of people who tag and write to us. We have many ideas in the pipeline that you will discover only by following our IG page.
What does “Boniacaso” mean?
What does boniacaso mean? Let me try. “Bono” is a slang term, and in Italian it means “nice boy”, “a caso” means random.
What does someone need to have to be a Boniacaso?
As explained by the term “boniacaso”, my idea is that everyone has the right to consider himself bono (nice boy). But the fundamental condition is that he must like himself first and bring out his “fabulousness”. The aesthetic side is fine, who doesn’t like a nice guy with a nice physique, but without fabulousness you don’t go anywhere. For this reason in the posts of Boniacaso I try to give space also to those photographers who try to give a different view of masculinity. I like contamination and I like not to get ghettoized and I try to do the same in all my projects.
How do you expect this project to evolve?
I don’t know what to expect, the instragram page is very successful (we have been operating for about a month, since we have had the lockdown in Italy). As long as I have fun managing it and sharing content we will go on. Anyone who wants to participate and contribute is welcome.
Who are your inspirations?
My inspirers? Well the list is really long … I don’t know where to start. I tell you the first names that come to mind.. Divine, Rainer Werner Fassbinderr, Bruce LaBruce, Helena Velena, Porpora Marcasciano and Mario Mieli (important Italian + LGBTQI activists)
You have been in the LGBTQ+ scene as an events manager, promoter, queer party monster and a reference in the gay scene. Which of the roles above best describes you?
I am a promoter, in the past I have dealt with projects such as Amygdala and Glamda, two very important queer parties in Rome, which have always stood out for the musical choice (electronic / techno) and for the cultural contents, from theater exhibitions etc. For a couple of years I have been working at an important Roman live club, Largo Venue, where I deal with co-production and where for about a year I have been following a new queer project Latte Fresco, a container of LGBTQI+ evenings, together with the indispensable contribution of many artists and friends. Then there are two other projects that I care a lot, Maniac (an evening of Fresh Milk dedicated to music from the 80s 90s 00s, together with Cristina Prenestina, Tompi, Phonola and all the fabulous boys and girls crew) and Lega Pop, an evening of Italian music where, thanks always to Cristina Prenestina, the contradictions and problems of Italian society and politics are addressed.
Has the gay nightlife changed since you started your career?
I have been doing this job for about 17/18 years I believe, I don’t remember exactly. As of changes, there have been many. But they are part of every generation, it’s normal. So I don’t want to tell you what I was doing when I was twenty … or to make those speeches that in my day were all cooler etc. Things change, people change … it is important, however, to be connected and know these changes and not be intimidated. For this reason, I like that in my work group there are also young people with their ideas and desire to do, I can help them to realise them thanks to my experience … we should do this, us “more adult” people. Make our experience available for the new generation, without judgments, without impositions.
What makes you scream YASS with joy?
A good pizza ???
How are you coping during these days?
We are working a lot with T-Squirt, QUEEF Magazine and Boniacaso, since the parties are all stopped. We are trying with our content offered to face this long quarantine with a smile.
What is the first thing you will do when the quarantine is over?
Going to eat sushi … I miss it so much.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Nothing… Pleasures are never guilty.
What are your future plans?
I hope to always be able to do what I am passionate about, there is nothing better than having a job that always offers you new challenges
*all images are courtesy of Francesco Mirabelli