Vladimir Luxuria interviewed by Erjon Tela
Is she a male or a female…? This was a question that accompanied Vladimir Luxuria, who was born female in a male body, since she was a child but this did not stop her from becoming a Member of the Italian Parliament, and being elected twice as representative of Communist Part by Italian people, through the free vote!
“Better a fascist rather than a queer” offended her Alessandra Mussolini during a TV show. That moment, although it is a personal insult to Vladimir Luxuria, – who challenged the entire European society by being the first transgender member of the parliament of an European country, – still remains an indication of how political extremists in Europe today may even feel fascists, just because they refuse to respect human rights.
Extremists are present everywhere, even in Albania today… In this exclusive interview for “Divers” that Erjon Tela, an activist of PINK Embassy did to her, Luxuria, who is also an artist, writer, and an activist for human rights, replied with irony, to Mr. Tritan Shehu an Albanian MP, who still considers homosexuality as disease. She replies to him: “To my knowledge, there isn’t yet and cannot be an aspirin or medicine to cure homosexuality. They tried to “heal” us in many ways: starting from the burnings, electric shocks, the concentration camps, prisons… Some others are even thinking to cancel or to eliminate us! They, themselves should be healed by their attempts to divert the true nature of the others”.
Erjon Tela: At what age did you begin to understand that you were woman?
Vladimir Luxuria: When I first started the childhood games. I loved the dolls, I loved playing and chatting with my female friends and I felt like them.
How did your family react to this?
Badly, but they thought it was a transition period in my life…
What are the best memories and the worst that come to your mind when you think about your childhood?
I remember how happy I was when we were organizing several games with my cousins at my aunt’s house. We acted like we were working in the television… the worst memory was and still is a relationship with an older person, much older than me.
Why did you enter into politics?
I was asked to and I accepted that offer. My dream was to change Italy and people’s perception on homosexual / lesbian / transphobia and civil rights …
And how was the reaction of the Italian people after your entry into politics?
They experienced it like a scandal! But many of them have changed their minds, so far, because of my serious work in the Parliament.
You are an idol and an inspiration for many LGBT rights activists. But what about you, did you personally have an idol when you started your activism? If yes, whom?
Harvey Milk is still one of my inspirations, for his dedication and honesty. Sylvia Rivera, the heroine of the Stonewall, as well; Magnus Hirschfeld, and not to forget all those other people who fought in the most difficult times or geographical areas.
You were the first transgender elected as a Member of Parliament in a European country. What were the problems and difficulties encountered in reaching this goal?
The prejudice! The terrible stereotype accompanying a trans: they are prostitutes… and they can never be MPs…
What are the changes that Luxuria as politician wants to achieve for LGBT community?
I wish we will be granted on our battle for LGBT rights the same dignity and historical importance of the great movements for protection and expansion of civil rights in the world, such as those against racism, those for equal opportunities between men and women, those for religious freedom, etc.
Prostitution is still a criminal act in Albania, while the debate over its legalization is still a taboo, although on July 2010 the Committee of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) at the UN urged Albania to decriminalize prostitution within the next 4 coming years. Should Albania take a step like that?
Yes! A criminal act should be considering when someone forces anyone to practice prostitution; when someone induces to slavery, and a serious crime should be considered the sale of children’s bodies.
You are a politician, actress, a television personality, an LGBT rights activist and a famous writer. Where do you find yourself more?
Everywhere I can be able to communicate effectively, to convince or excite others.
In 2008 you won “The Island of the Famous.” Show. What kind of reactions has caused this?
Mamma mia! Huge, it was just a reality show… But I was sure I would have relied upon, even there, as elsewhere.
“Who’s Afraid of Muccassassina”. Did this autobiographical book achieved the success you expected?
Yes, I have immediately been asked for my second book.
Fables “unspoken” tells the stories of several children in different places and different times. Is there a child in your projects?
I do not want a child with a surrogate mother, and I can not even adopt a child. So, for the moment I only have many adopted children in distance.
“Better fascist rather than a queer” – Many LGBT and human rights activists are still angry when they hear this insult that Alesandra Mussolini made to you during the “Porta a Porta.” debate on RaiUno. How to deal with these politicians who are everywhere, even in Albania and tend to encourage hatred and discrimination?
A politician should think seriously before making statements that not only offend me but all the victims of the dictatorships of any kind. Many politicians sometimes do not understand this.
In Albania we have the case of a MP who still thinks that homosexuality is a disease … This MP, former Foreign Minister of Albania is also a doctor. How do you respond in such a case?
To my knowledge, there isn’t yet and cannot be an aspirin or medicine to cure homosexuality. They tried to “heal” us in many ways: starting from the burnings, electric shocks, the concentration camps, prisons… Some others are even thinking to cancel or to eliminate us! They, themselves should be healed by their attempts to divert the true nature of the others.
After reading the situation of the LGBT community in Albania, what message would you like to give to the Albanian politicians?
A true politician is one who wants to give hope to his people, more wealth, more integration, more culture, freedom. Anyone who presents a smile and makes others feel excluded is not someone who will enter in the history books, that person will never be remembered with love and gratitude.
And a final message to LGBT activists in Albania and LGBT community…
Strength and courage are parts of liberty, my fellows! Be strong and hold on, because darkest is be the night, nearest is the dawn of a new era…
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