Italy has reportedly held its first ever wedding involving a trans woman who has had her true gender recognised without reassignment surgery.
Today, Alessia Cinquegrana married her partner of 11 years, Michael Picone, in a civil marriage at the town hall in their home of Aversa, in the south of the country near Naples.
Cinquegrana, who was crowned Miss Trans Italy in 2014, was overjoyed.
“I’m really happy; I didn’t expect this starry a reception,” said the bride, who is planning to adopt a child.
Anti-trans graffiti targeted at Cinquegrana was spotted shortly before the ceremony, on a building near the town hall.
Council workers quickly sought to remove the offensive message, but Cinquegrana refused to let the slur ruin her big day.
“It doesn’t affect me at all,” she said.
“These people are repressed, while I’m happy to be who I am”.
The town’s Mayor Enrico de Cristofaro, who attended the wedding, and his city council condemned the graffiti, saying: “Aversa is an open city, free from prejudice.
“Aversa does not see itself in this graffiti.”
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Ileana Capurro, president of the Transgender Association Naples, said that the wedding “represented an important moment in the history of the transgender community”.
She added that the alteration in legislation which allowed Cinquegrana the opportunity to be wed had been a long time coming.
“It was a change desired for years by all transgender people who were not able or did not want to submit to the practice of the so-called ‘scalpel for strength’ procedure.”
Capurro said that in the past, those who were unable to be married without gender reassignment surgery “were deprived of their civil rights.
“But today, a concrete goal of total equality was reached,” she added.
“Finally a transgender person, supported and assisted by our association, can freely choose the most appropriate path, even without reconstructive surgery.”
Same-sex civil unions are legal in Italy, though same-sex marriages are still against the law.