Findus Pasta Company's LGBT-Friendly Ad Makes Italian History

At first glance, this Italian pasta ad may not seem to be that big of a deal. It’s for a frozen food company called Findus, and if the commercial is to be believed, their microwaveable pasta dishes are unreal. But that’s not what makes the ad so amazing. What’s so incredible about it is that we’re pretty sure it’s Italy's first LGBT-friendly ad, in a country that’s generally rife with homophobia. Score one for the team, Findus!

The ad features a family — all faceless, as is wont to happen in many a food commercial — having dinner together and talking about surprises. The microwaveable Findus pasta dishes, for example, are a huge surprise — who knew a frozen dinner could be so good? Then the family’s son, Luca, says, “Mom, I have another small surprise. Gianni is not just my roommate, he’s my boyfriend.”

And bless her little heart, all she does is pat his hand lovingly and say, “Honey, I knew that already.” And then dinner carries on.

As gay activists in Europe has said, the ad is hugely praiseworthy. Said Juris Lavrikovs, the communications manager of Europe’s International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association, “It’s a positive step forward when different types of families are portayed in ads, as they resonate with parts of society that are usually marginalized.” Me? What I love so much is that once the announcement is made, it’s pretty much a non-issue. You’re gay? That’s cool; we figured it out already anyway, but thanks for telling us. This microwave pasta, though? Now that is amazing!

Studies have revealed high levels of homophobia and discrimination in Italy in the past, and most aren’t hopeful that an anti-discrimination bill currently working its way through the country’s senate will pass. But if ads like this make as many good waves over there as I hope they will, then hopefully popular opinion will start swaying in the other direction, with political reform right behind it. I’ll raise my pasta fork to that!

Image: Findus/TIME