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Bye-Bye Berlusca, Hello Luxuria

May
2
2006
new politics

Today Premier Silvio Berlusconi will step down. Kicking and screaming, he’s finally on his way out – but won’t be going very far and may not be gone for very long – while Europe’s first transgender parliament member Vladimir Luxuria, who won on the communist ticket, took her place in government last week.
Admittedly, I have a grudge against Luxuria. She ruined an 80s video show called “One Shot” – anyone remember the clip for Miami Sound Machine’s “Dr. Beat?” — by turning it into a talk show, with videos. Not the same thing.
I’m confident I can get past it if I can just figure out her political platform.


When she showed up for the first day of work, wearing a sober black suit enlivened by pink piping and clutching an adorable tiny pink handbag, the general consensus, echoed by stodgy daily Corriere della Sera, was that she was “elegant” and “well dressed.”
And?
It was sort of a red carpet scenario, with reporters scampering around for color.
You know: the oldest senator, the youngest senators, the sexiest (showgirl-cum-politician Mara Carfagna competing with Daniela Santanchè for this one) senatresses.
Luxuria, who in observance of government protocol must officially go by Wladimiro Guadagno while at work, said in numerous interviews that she hopes to show people that transvestites and transgenders are just normal folk. And that people at home won’t see her and say: “my god, what’s that?”
Well, transgender or not, Luxuria, age 40, is Italian. I am confident that innate dress sense will ensure she meets this goal.
Not to undermine the accomplishment, it is true that simply by being transgender and in government, Luxuria has opened up a whole series of considerations.
For starters, Italian isn’t a gender-neutral language and during the campaign there was a certain awkwardness over which form to use. She is now always, confidently, given the female address she prefers.
And the term transgender doesn’t exist in Italian, now people are starting to discuss and use it. As for other cultural mores, there was wide coverage of which bathroom (women’s) she would opt to use at Palazzo Montecitorio.
Citing nerves she cut short interviews but told newspaper Repubblica to “watch for surprises.”
I wish her luck and hope for thought-provoking surprises, rather than the oh-we’ve-elected-porn-star-Cicciolina-type surprises that make Italian politics hard to take very seriously.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 12:56 PM | Permalink

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