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Transgender, a world without light

Medication to change sex become the responsibility of the state, but on the transsexual universe there are prejudices and clichés that push to marginalization. How to fight them?

By Gierreuno

As of 1st October, AIFA, the Italian medical agency, has established that hormone medications, for gender transitions, are the responsibility of the National Health Service. The news has slipped away, among the agency notes, without causing a particular sensation, hidden among the folds of a society that considers the phenomenon of transsexuality as something foreign if not inconvenient. Yet the decision that allows those who have chosen to change sex to take advantage of public assistance has a revolutionary scope and is the result of decades of battles carried out by numerous associations born to give voice to those who live in a condition of hardship caused from that which, Indelibly, we could define “diversity”.

A diversity that our world, founded on a patriarchy that has its roots in the centuries and that struggles to give in to the demands of science and knowledge, tries to repel with annoyance, to rob and to conceal. In Italy, for example, it is still not known how many transsexual individuals there are, where transsexuals are people who decide to change their body through hormonal treatments and, possibly, surgery. The latest available data date back to a study published in 2011, which referred to the transgender adult population undergoing surgery between 1992 and 2008, which stated the existence of 424 transsexual women and 125 transsexual men. Numbers far from reality.

“Data from international scientific literature suggest that the percentage of transgender population should be between 0.5% and 1.2% of the total. If confirmed also in our country, it would consist in about 400 thousand Italians” explained Marina Pierdominici, researcher of the Center of reference for gender medicine of the Higher Institute of Health, in an interview with Repubblica.it. A number that testifies how much is present the phenomenon and therefore important that is put in place a campaign of information and awareness of public opinion in order to give dignity and equal rights to individuals who ask nothing more than to be recognized.

“Data from international scientific literature suggest that the percentage of transgender population should be between 0.5% and 1.2% of the total. If confirmed also in our Country, would count in about 400 thousand Italians” explained Marina Pierdominici, researcher of the Center of reference for the medicine of “The knowledge of the real number of transgender people is the first step towards the effective taking care of this population group by the health system”supported in the above interview Marina Pierdominici illustrating the project that the Careggi University Hospital, the University of Florence, the Higher Institute of Health, The Bridge foundation with the support of the National Observatory on Gender Identity have started: an online census called Spot (Estimate of the Transgender Population) aimed at drawing a clear picture of the situation.

What does it consist of? It is a simple questionnaire, strictly anonymous, to be filled in online at: www.studiopopolazionespot.it/. Addressed to the entire population, the questionnaire aims to bring order and give light to a condition by removing it from the marginalization to which it is relegated. A first step to accompany with the use of the correct terminology to be adopted when dealing with the phenomenon. So here, to those who fill out the questionnaire, is released online a handbook to better understand the theme of the genre.

Knowing, respecting, using the right words is vital when dealing with a subject like this because, as stated by Maddalena Mosconi, psychologist, psychotherapist, expert in transsexualism, “the greater suffering experienced by people with gender identity disorders derives primarily from prejudices and stereotypes and the cultural attitude present in Italy not only does not facilitate the elaboration of these difficulties, but sharpens the symptomatology”.