Milena’s freedom comes with her ID card

by Irene Leonardi - 2015.11.18
Milena’s freedom comes with her ID card
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Thanks to her new identity card, Milena Bargiacchi can enjoy freedom. Because this 26-year-old photographer was born with a feminine soul trapped in a male body. And after fighting fiercely for years in the courtrooms of Emilia Romagna, she has finally managed, at least on paper, to break free from the cage in which Mother Nature had placed her. Just a few weeks ago she became the first transsexual in the region to have what should be her legal right recognised: in other words, the right to change gender on official documents without the obligation (which is still in force in Italy) to do so first by surgery.

Until now, Milena had enjoyed freedom at university, where she was given a replacement ID card that allowed her to take her exams without having to explain to the tutor why it was a girl sitting the exam, instead of Francesco. “What we face,” says Milena “is a private and intimate journey that it becomes impossible to protect every time you have to show a document and explain your story.” Many people don't notice how often we need official ID in life: while travelling, for medical checks, at the bank or if you are stopped while driving. That's why there are many people in the same situation who decide not to vote, just to avoid questions.

“Having ID that represents me means that I alone can decide who I want to share my story with”, says Milena. It's a turning point because “showing a document that doesn't match who you are allows a transphobic to block you.” At the moment, Milena's freedom is something she won in court and not by the law. Until there is a new law on this, it's a freedom only for those who can afford it.

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