Not Your Everyday News

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Italy and Politics

Ok, I have been holding this story back since last week, when I
first found out about this amazing fact. First of all, you all should
remember a couple weeks back when I wrote about Cicciolina,
the Hungarian born Italian porn star who was elected to
Parliament briefly in the 80's. Well, our good friends the Italians
have topped that incredibly unbelievable event. Italy held
elections earlier this year; my husband, watching an Italian
political talk show one night last week (on RAI, the national
Italian TV station) noticed an 'unusual' looking woman (as he
put it) who was one of the guests. Turns out this woman, a new
member of Parliament, was a drag queen! Yes you read right,
no your eyes are not deceiving you, the country where the Pope
resides has done it again! Her name is Vladimir Luxuria; she
considers herself 'transgender'. Born Wladimiro Guadagno in
Foggia, in the region of Puglia, Luxuria moved to Rome in the
mid 80's to study, but by the early 90's had established herself
as an actress. Luxuria also organized Rome's first ever gay pride
festival in 1994. It was shortly thereafter that she entered the
political arena and joined the Communist Party (yes, believe it
or not, they still get votes in Italy, enough so that the leader
that the leader of the party serves as their version of the House
Speaker). When Luxuria decided to run for a seat this year, she
promised to keep the sequins, boas, wigs, and feathers out of
the parliament, that she would be dignified. She was livid when
the media began to compare her to Cicciolina, saying she was not
a circus act. And indeed, after her election in April, she has kept
her word, wearing business suits, very conservative but also very
feminine, provoking outrage amongst her more conservative
parliamentary colleagues; some from the far right actually went
as far as calling Luxuria "sinful" and a "faggot". To top it all off,
the right wing has called for an extra restroom to be installed in
the Parliament building for her, as they believe she shouldn't be
allowed to use the women's restroom, and Luxuria won't use the
men's. (um, Fascists? get over it and let the 'person' use whatever
facilities he/she desires, and save the taxpayers the money the cost
of a new restroom would entail!) So let's all keep an eye on the first
drag queen in the European political arena and see how she does -
gotta love the Italians, for the food, culture, and zaniness!

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