Milan introduces gender self-certification

All it will take is a 'solemn' declaration to be able to choose what sex you are -female, male or neither- without any medical acts, expert opinions or judgments, and to adopt the 'alias' identity in various municipal services, including electoral rolls. In fact self-id, a huge change introduced by a simple administrative act and without any public debate. But it is all to be assessed whether the law allows it
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So self-id has been introduced in Milan: it means being able to decide whether you are male, female -or neither- in total freedom, without expert opinions, judgments, witnesses -as required by national law-: nothing like that, a simple bureaucratic step and it's done.

In Great Britain, after years of public debate, self-id has been shelvedThe overwhelming majority of the population was against it. In Milan, without any debate, as if citizenship did not existas if laws did not exist, and as if the sex of birth counted for nothingthe City Council approved.

A anthropological change, what the philosopher Ivan Illich had prophesied how "an unprecedented change in the human condition"the birth certificate of what he called Neutrum Oeconomicum, passed like this, in no time and quietly, without discussion or clamour, as a simple administrative act.

The motion, tabled by PD councillor Monica Romano -who is transgender, in the opening photo-, enthusiastically supported by the usual president of Equal Opportunities Diana De Marchi - for which for years now rights and queer are synonymous- and by a dragnet of other councillors who are members of that party, claims that Law 164/82 regulating the transition path is now old hat, establishes a Gender Recognition Register, introduces alias identity' in many areas of city life, for example "municipal library cards, season tickets for public transport, internal identification documents for employees of the Municipality of Milan and for employees of investee companies'. This would also affect the electoral registers.

"These documents would only be issued after the filing of notarial acts in which the person concerned declares and the municipal administration takes note that -by way of example- Mario Rossi and Maria Rossi correspond to the same person'. is written in the motion.

This passage would involve a simple "interview with the mayor, a member of the council, a municipal or city councillor' in which we give ourselves "solemnly acknowledge mutual assumption of responsibility'.

The matter does not concern transsexuals who have actually undertaken a transition path as foreseen by the law -and who may wish to anticipate its effects- but any Mario who wants to be Maria without going this route, any Maria who wants to be Mario, or any Mario/Maria who wants to be neither Mario nor Mariacases gathered under the transgender umbrella. There would be no immediate effect on identity documents, but it is well known that these innovations, as Monica Romano is well aware, often go through rules and regulations and then end up in legislative reforms.

As we have repeatedly said, gender identity is the cornerstone of the Zan ddl, recently resubmitted to the Senate: the self-id of Milan effectively overcomes the ddl, bypassing all obstacles.

Milan paves the way. He explains this to Republic Councillor Romano herself:

"It is the first gender register to be set up in Italy and will enable transgender, non-binary and gender-nonconforming people to no longer having to undergo frustrating psychiatric evaluations and court authorisations. The person will finally be able to self-determine, go in front of a civil registrar and make a free declaration, starting with choosing your own name. This vote is intended to be a goad for national politics'

To comment on innovation, the words of the British transgender journalist Debbie Hayton, who had strongly welcomed the rejection of the self-id: "Trashing self-id is a victory for transgender women (...) Self-id would have been a open door for any violent male wishing to gain unrestricted access to women's spaces. In Britain, the rights of trans people have never been guaranteed as they are today'.

The motion passed by the City Council is part of a package of initiatives friendly they intend to make of Milan a capital of Lgbtq tourism, with interesting economic implications. Not to be construed as benaltrism, but perhaps the left-wing majority should first address the fact that by now a simple rent in Milan has become a luxury for the few, a lesser matter glam but of some relevance.

An agenda signed by PD Michele Albiani was also approved, calling on the Sala council to proclaim the city 'zone of freedom for LGBTQ+ people'. Another agenda, also signed by Albiani, proposes a ban on the so-called 'reparative therapies' -without considering that today the first reparative therapies, as reported by gay and lesbian activists, consist of administration of hormones and children-i gender nonconforming, practice that has now been banned throughout Northern Europe and continues in Italy, but perhaps Councillor Albiani is not aware of this.

More generally -for culpable lack of information- it is considered that the objectives queer and those of gay and lesbian people are part of one package: nothing could be more wrong, read here. The queer not gay friendly.

A few evaluations to conclude. In a private interview a few weeks ago Councillor Monica Romano assured us that she was personally against the self-id: apparently not. In general, innovations of this magnitude require extensive public debate and cannot be imposed on citizenship as mere administrative acts. Above all, it is to have the judiciary assess whether the motion passed by the Milan Council is consistent with the law in force which regulates 'sex change' pathways (164/82) and subsequent rulings that no longer impose the major demolition operation (removal of the genitals) but confirm the need for a medical, psychological and legal pathway.

An administrative act such as the one in Milan can in no way think of bypassing the national law.

Marina Terragni


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