The Italian Almanac

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Vladimir Luxuria with Mr. Bertinotti, her party leader

Italian News - May 5

Among the most pressing orders of business for Europe's first "transgender" lawmaker may be fighting over which bathroom to use in the Italian parliament. Elected last month, Vladimir Luxuria said on Thursday she was opposed to restroom "apartheid" after a centre-right lawmaker suggested the creation of a special, third lavatory for all transgender politicians. In Italy, and all of Europe, that means just Luxuria.

"I didn't expect politics to sink this low," Luxuria, a 40-year-old drag queen and defender of gay rights said in an interview with the online edition of Corriere della Sera daily. Born Wladimiro Guadagno, Luxuria prefers to be referred to as a she and expressed a general preference for women's bathrooms. She suggested women reacted better than men did. "There are many difficult moments in the life of a transgender and even some embarrassing ones, like the use of public bathrooms. Maybe we go to the women's bathroom because the men get embarrassed," Luxuria said.

The transgender bathroom was suggested by a newly elected lawmaker in the lower house of parliament, Lucio Barani, a member of centre-right opposition. Barani said in a statement it would avoid embarrassment. "The apartheid of urinary segregation is not an issue that moves me particularly," Luxuria said. "I don't want the privilege of having a bathroom all to myself."