Vladimir Luxuria (born Wladimiro Guadagno in Foggia, Apulia June 24, 1965), is an Italian actress, television personality, and politician. Luxuria was a Communist Refoundation Party member of the Italian parliament, belonging to Romano Prodi's L'Unione coalition. She was the first openly transgender member of Parliament in Europe, and the world's second openly transgender MP after New Zealander Georgina Beyer. She, however, had lost her seat in the election of April, 2008.
Although Luxuria lives exclusively as a female, she has yet to undergo sex change surgery; and remains physically and legally male. She has stated on occasion that she perceives herself as neither male nor female.
In the 2006 general election, Luxuria was elected to the Chamber of Deputies by the Lazio 1 constituency in Rome. She lost her seat in the 2008 election.
After the retirements of Beyer and Luxuria, there have reportedly been no transgendered MPs in the world.
Luxuria moved to Rome in 1985 to study foreign languages and literature. She also began to act, notably in caberet; and through this developed her gender ambiguity as a hallmark. She earned her first acting credit in Cena alle nove by Paolo Breccia in 1991; and began organizing parties and gay pride events, becoming director of the Circolo di cultura omosessuale Mario Mieli in 1993. She organized Italy's first pride festival, in Rome on June 2, 1994, which attracted some ten thousand people. From 2001 to 2003 she has toured Italian theatres with the musical Emotions co starring with Sabrina Salerno and Ambra Angiolini.
Her career as performer was not restricted to stage shows, and in 2005 she hosted a television show about nostalgia for 1980s music and culture on All Music. She also became well-known for participating in charity organizations before making the transition to politics.
Luxuria identifies using the English word "transgender" and prefers feminine pronouns, titles, and adjectives. She is physically and legally male. Despite not choosing not to undergone full sex change surgery, she has had some operations to make herself more identifiably female; such as the permanent removal of facial hair, a rhinoplasty and partial breast construction. Upon entering parliament, she made the decision to stop wearing her trademark drag clothing - an extravagant cocktail of sequins, feather boas and bouffant wigs - saying that the legislature was "not a discothèque" and that, "It wouldn't be useful to provoke [people] in such a stupid way."
Luxuria has long been a strong advocate for gay rights and a participator in events promoting their equality. She helped organize Italy's first gay pride festival in 1994 and continued her activism throughout her tenure as a politician; an example of this was in 2006, when she took part in the first Muscovite gay pride parade.
She has used her prominence in Italian politics since being elected as a platform for advocating gay rights. In the lead-up to her election, Luxuria made gay rights an issue of her campaign and felt herself a representative of the LGBT community, saying, "We don't want privileges - we want our rights." In addition, Luxuria called for civil unions to be enabled for gay couples and for Italy to accommodate political asylum for "all the gays who try to get into Italy from countries where homosexuality is punishable by death".
Luxuria also campaigned prior to the elections for gays to have cohabitation rights, and had helped campaign by winning the support of Italy's left. Furthermore, Luxuria outlined her long-term support for full gay marriage rights, citing Spain's implementation of the law as a reason for potentially legalizing such unions. In September 2006, she stated that the Vatican's ongoing influence in politics, specifically in regards to gay marriage, contravened clauses of the Italian Constitution.
Election in 2006
Although her Lazio 1 constituency was seen as a safe Communist seat, her election was not without difficulties, particularly after it was disclosed that she had been a sex worker for a time shortly after arriving in Rome due to the fact that finding a normal job is extremely difficult for a transgender individual. Clemente Mastella, chief of a more moderate party in her own coalition, notoriously called her "a ridiculous Cicciolina," referring to a pornographic actress who had also served as an Italian MP. Alessandra Mussolini said, referring to Luxuria, that it was "better to be a fascist than a faggot" (meglio fascista che frocio).
During the election, she and another candidate were attacked by a group of fifteen people, allegedly including Alleanza Nazionale politicians; they pelted her with fennel (in Italian finocchio, a word also meaning "faggot"). The politicians in question were suspended by AN; Luxuria criticized the police for the time it took for them to respond to the incident.
Her service in the Italian parliament got off to a rocky start, when in October 2006 Forza Italia MP Elisabetta Gardini insisted that she should not have been allowed to use women's washrooms in the parliament building and called for the creation of a third washroom. Gardini described finding Luxuria in there as "sexual violence"; she later faced condemnations from coalition deputies for displaying prejudice tantamount to racism. Luxuria declared that she had used the toilets for years and that using the male lavatory would engender even greater problems.
Following the 2008 election, Luxuria was not reelected.
- Cena alle nove (1991)
- Come mi vuoi (1996)
- Tutti giù per terra (1996)
- Sono positivo (1998)
- La vespa e la regina (1999)
- Guardami (1999)
- Ponte Milvio (1999)
- Ogni lasciato è perso (2000)
- Mater Natura (2005)
- "Gay rights enter Italian election", BBC News, 2006-02-24. Retrieved February 15, 2008
- "Gay Italians defy Vatican power", BBC News, 2006-09-21. Retrieved February 15, 2008
- Ebay: Actors - Alessandra Mussolini Ebay profile
- La Repubblica Template:It icon
- 365gay.com Gay.com
- "Transgender MP in toilet fracas", BBC News, 2006-10-28. Retrieved February 15, 2008
- Vladimir Luxuria
- "Meglio fascista che frocio" A short passage of the video showing the quarrel between Mussolini and Luxuria.
- Vladimir Luxuria at the Internet Movie Database (as Vladimir Luxuria)
- Wladimiro Guadagno at the Internet Movie Database (as Wladimiro Guadagno)
- Vladimir Luxuria
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