Last Updated on February 25, 2021 by Gaia Zol
In a first for Italy, the students of this Roman high school can choose their name and gender. The news rules of the Liceo Ripetta.
Setting an example
Student organizations fought for their rights and their protection. They asked and pushed the high school board. Until their fight was successful. All this thanks to the Rete degli Studenti Medi del Lazio.
The Carriera Alias for transgender students
The new programs, called Carriera Alias, is dedicated to the students who are transitioning their gender. Through this alternative profile, transgender students can change their name in the school’s documents.
The goal is to create a safe and peaceful environment. At the Ripetti, students will have dignity and their privacy will be protected. The program will help the conversation, pushing young generations to talk and share ideas.
If the student is a minor, the family can ask for the activation of Carriera Alias. While transgender students over 18 can ask for it themselves. As long as they start a psychological and medical journey.
The student organization is happy, but the hope is to spread this program to every school.
“Everyone has to feel free to express itself, be recognized for its identity and with the chosen name, above all in the school environment,” the Rete wrote online.
It might seem like a tiny detail, but it’s a big step for Italy.
Italian precedents for transgender students
Truth is, Italy doesn’t have a positive record with transgender students. Here are the obstacles to the road to equality.
The story of Greta
Ever since she can remember, Greta has always felt like a girl. Born as a boy, while growing up she played with the Barbie and with dolls. Her mother thought she was gay. Little did she imagine that Great was transgender.
“I am a girl,” she used to say to her parents. Initially, they thought it was just a phase. In school, her teachers told her to go to the bathroom for the disabled. Not the boy’s nor the girl’s. Greta told her story of bullying and pain to the online website Ravenna Today.
“In school, everyone ignores me,” she said, “among all the teachers, only two support me. The rest is indifferent, like my school mates. They pretended like it’s nothing. They ignore me.”
She told her story, but not much has changed for her.
Transgender students, a story from Padua
In the fall of 2020, the high school Tito Livio was in the midst of the representatives’ elections. One of the names was female. However, the student identifies as a man.
Bureaucracy and fear got in the way. At first, the school was inflexible. The names on the list reflected the official names. Then, it looked like the institute would retract the list. And add only the initials of the candidates. That wasn’t good enough for the student.
So, he spoke up. To him, it felt like he was forced to come out in front of his peers. The students organized a protest to show support. So, the school had to apologize. Still, the list includes the first initial and the full last name.
Indeed, Italy has a long way to go. But the example of the Liceo Ripelli can lead to real changes for transgender students.
Find out more news from Italy here.