Among Roses and Violets: The History and Stories of Transsexuals and Cross-dressers

Original title: Tra le rose e le viole: la storia e le storie di transessuali e travestiti

By: Marcasciano P.

First published in Italy: Manifestolibri, 2002

Genere: Biography, non-fiction

Overview: This is the first anthology where Porpora Marcasciano reconstructs the experience of transgender persons in Italy from the late 1950s until the end of that century, through stories and direct testimonies. An important document of transgender history in Italy.


Original title: Anestesia

By: Fumettibrutti (Signorelli J.Y.)

First published in Italy: Feltrinelli, 2020

Genere: Graphic novel

Overview: Night times in the nightclubs, a crazy love to escape from, Josephine sets on a painful journey to conquer her deeply authentic core life. Poetic and brutal, disarming and sharp, Josephine's touching voice tells the story of a journey and a landing, showing the transition into a different body. It is a bare, primary, essential narration. An introspective investigation that becomes universal at times and brings attention to the obstacles that courts, institutions and social expectations sow on the path to full self-realization, while affirming the importance of defending one's choices and identity.

AntoloGaia. Having a Life Full of Dreams Instead of Dreaming of Having a Life: My Seventies

Original title: AntoloGaia. Vivere sognando e non sognare di vivere: i miei anni Settanta

By: Marcasciano P.

First published in Italy: Alegre, 2015

Genere: Biography

Overview: Porpora Marcasciano starts from herself and tells us about the Seventies from a special viewpoint. Her experience is made of encounters, demonstrations, passions, fears, dreams, and sexuality. There she builds the first GLT collectives, the first “Pride” parade and the emergent gay movement, which connects with the revolutionary movement of those years, pushing it to become self-aware. A reality in which transgender persons, gays, lesbians, women and more, revolutionize their lives and, in reflex, that of the world. A “fabulous” story, later overwhelmed by AIDS and the instrumental narration of those who described it as the “gay plague”. From joyful, the atmosphere becomes dark. Until today, when everything seems to have been “normalized” by the laws of the market. Porpora reconstructs that history and the links between the modern and post-modern, necessary to re-elaborate a thought and a culture that will not be neutralized.

Antonia's Strength

Original title: La forza di Antonia

By: Monopoli A., Maiello G.

First published in Italy: Independent Publication, 2019

Genere: Biographical fiction

Overview: Bisceglie, a small town in Apulia, divided between the Adriatic Sea, a melancholy and tired old man and the countryside, a golden fleece woven with the scent of cherry trees. Antonio is “effeminate.” At the age of eight, he begins what he defines as a Via Crucis between general practitioners and psychiatrists who propose asylums and lobotomies. Antonio's childhood and adolescence are tormented by misunderstandings and intolerance, sacrifices and renunciations. As an adult, Antonio discovers transgenderism and finds the answer to that “little girl imprisoned in the heart of a little boy” with “an immense love for life”. Thus, begins the transition journey that will lead him to become Antonia. The trip to Milan, prostitution, emancipation, love and LGBT activism will be stages of a journey that will see Antonia become one of the main influential exponents of the transgender movement in Italy. Antonia will gravitate towards theater where she will find again the wonder and amazement of her childhood, when she used to spend hours and hours next to her father, an usher in the county theater. Alessandra, a young monarch butterfly who survived a fire, will help Antonia discover her nature and her way, in an old enchanted valley, a world once populated by spirits and fairies, now destroyed by the greed of men. Antonia's salvation will be that small wing, no longer a reason to be ashamed, but the strength for every soul that, along the way, will also need her help to be happy. The book tells the “different” story of Antonia Monopoli.

An Apartment on Uranus: Chronicles of the Crossing

Original title: Un appartamento su Urano

By: Preciado P.B.

First published in Italy: Fandango Libri, 2020

Genere: Non-fiction

Overview: Uranus, the icy giant, is the coldest planet in the solar system, as well as a god in Greek mythology. In 1864 Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, one of the first European transgender activists, developed the concept of “Uranism” to define “third sex.”
Paul B. Preciado dreams of an apartment on Uranus where he can live outside power relations, and gender and sexual categories. “My trans condition,” states the author, “is a new form of Uranism. I am not a man. I am not a woman. I am not heterosexual. I am not homosexual. I am not bisexual. I am a dissident of the gender-sex binary system.”
In this book, which compiles a large selection of the “chronicles of the crossing” (partly translated in Italy by Internazionale magazine), Preciado recounts the transformation process from Beatriz to Paul B., in which hormones and legal name change are as important as writing. Foreword by Virginie Despentes.

The Argonauts

Original title: Gli Argonauti

By: Nelson M.

First published in Italy: Il Saggiatore, 2016

Genere: Non-fiction

Overview: Raised as the most “normal” of girls in the most traditional of American families, Maggie Nelson chooses to marry transgender artist Harry Dodge, born male in a female body, and to become a mother thanks to the gift of assisted fertilization. The conception becomes for the author a chance to talk about her experience and to explore, with courage and determination, every nuance of her complex sexuality. She does so without ever flaunting a precise name for her feelings, refusing every useless gender label, every elusive classification. The Argonauts, which immediately became a publishing sensation in America, is the story of beauty perpetually on the run, hunted down, misunderstood by a world that pretends to be civilized. Yet, unable to abandon the binary system according to which things are either good or bad, normal or strange, unacceptable.

Arnold's Journey. The Story of a Man Born Woman

Original title: Il viaggio di Arnold. Storia di un uomo nato donna

By: Tolu D.

First published in Italy: Edizioni Univ. Romane, 2005

Genere: Novel

Overview: Since early childhood, Marilyn experiences the discomfort of a child's body that she feels as inappropriate, discomfort that grows as the years go by, a kind of suffering that no one understands, not even her parents. Marilyn’s first major shift towards greater awareness comes during a long family trip: from the first meticulous disguises to grueling training and hanging out with people she finally finds some affinity with. Arnold arises in the end, a man even more certain of being different, different from everyone else.