June is the month of Gay Pridean event created to celebrate the social acceptance and self-acceptance of people LGBTQI +. A way to recognize oneself and break down the barrier of prejudices that, often, still today, leads to hiding, to being conditioned by society, by unwanted glances and comments.
Finding the strength, in a sense, to be yourself and to finally begin to live, as happened to L. one of the transsexual boys from Casa +, home of the Italian Red Cross. A troubled life, made up of bullying And death threatsespecially from the family who never wanted to accept his status as a trans boy. “I was tired of living but I wanted to live”: a phrase that characterizes the entire path carried out by L. who today would just like to be able to find the serenity he deserves. “I wish I could finally be myself and that means carrying out my transition“.
“Thanks to a friend, I realized I was trans”: the story of L.
L. is 22 years old and for nine months he has been living inside Casa + after being escaped from a family situation that did not allow him to live in peace. He was born a woman and she has always lived her sexuality naturally, preferring toy cars to dolls and having “more masculine” attitudes. “It wasn’t such a clear-cut thing – he tells us – nI didn’t know what it meant to be trans “. Everything starts to change at 15when a friend confesses to him that he is a trans guy: “And I replied. “What is that? Explain me”. “I am a boy” she tells me. It didn’t make me strange, on the contrary, I began to think that there was something that resembles what I felt “.
He started to become aware of his status, but in order not to create problems he had decided to keep it to himself. Before his coming out, L. lived a double life: “I was afraid to say certain things at home, so on the outside I was a boy, with my friends I was a boy, but with my family I went back to being a woman”. Having reached the age of majority, however, he decides that he has to free himself from this burden: “I didn’t want to lie anymore, I came out because I was exploding“.
“I came out to my family: they threatened me with death”
The moment of coming out for L. came straight away, after years of silence and fear. With friends it was easy: “They have always supported me in everything. Sometimes they were the ones who said certain things to me. When I communicated that I was a trans man, they told me “We already know”. With them I lived it very differently. THE mine did not expect it“. L. struggles to talk about his family history. The crack that arose after her confession was as unexpected as it was painful. “My they looked at me with indescribable eyes, as if I had killed someone. The same look when you see a killer on television and they show his face. I knew it was going to go wrong. But I didn’t expect what would happen next ”.
The situation in the family deteriorates drastically when other members are also involved: “I didn’t expect to get to the point of never leaving the house. I spent nearly two years indoors alone and there are those who have even threatened me with death. They said to me: “I would not have given this sorrow to your mother. Why didn’t you kill yourself ?! “. Indelible pains that L. brings with him also in his story. Almost justifying himself he tells us: “I couldn’t do otherwise, if I hadn’t been myself I would never have been happy. Being myself for me is the transitionand living in a certain context, living not being considered a woman “.
Discrimination at work: “They accused me of sexual harassment”
Closed after two years “I was tired of living but I wanted to live, so I ran away from home“ – He tells us. L. decides to leave his hometown and try to find a job outside. Become a waiter in a hotel and this is where the serious problems begin: “At first they give me the women’s uniform, but I wanted to work so I accept. At work they always gave me feminine, and even then I never said anything. The worst comes when I had to go and live in the apartment with the other workers, because they did not send me to the side of men. Women see me, understand, and they accuse me of sexual harassment just because I’m a boy and I can’t stay where the girls are “. L. tries to explain the situation, stating that what happened was not the result of his will, but the colleagues did not want to hear reasons: “They went to the boss and said that I had sexually assaulted one of the residents because I am trans“.
The employer immediately takes the girls’ defense, without asking the opinion of L. who has found himself unjustly accused. “I didn’t get a chance to speak, because the boss got angry. Eventually I got fired and had to go home“.
“I forgave my parents but I don’t forget: now I just wish I could feel comfortable”
After being fired from his job, L. decides again to make a change in his life and gets in touch with the operators of Italian Red Cross to be hosted inside the reception house Home +. For about nine months he has been living here with other * girls * who have experienced homotransphobia and today would like to be able to take back their lives by avoiding fear and prejudices.
“My goal for now is to feel comfortable – says L. – have my house, my job, feel like a man and feel comfortable. I like adventure, I like everything but first of all I want to feel comfortable ”. Meanwhile he is trying to rebuild a bond with his parents as well: “Forgiving is easy, but I don’t forget. The things they said to me, which were done to me, I do not forget. I can only try to see if there has been a change. A parent who tells you not to go home, who looks you in the eye and says “You are killing me” or “You killed my daughter”, it hurts, because I am still the same person, I have not changed“.
Today L. is a mature boy, steadfast in principles that he always keeps in mind and allow him to rationalize also on what will be: “This is my life. It is an e I don’t want to have regrets. I want to feel right with myself – points out. “It’s a job that my parents will have to do too, not just me. But I don’t like to leave things unfinished.”
Photo source: Italian Red Cross
Casa +, the Red Cross home for LGBT youth
Home + is the place where young people who are part of the LGBT community, aged between 18 and 30, are able to find refuge and support following negative experiences that led them to move away from their family. The Red Cross project was born in 2016, together with another partner, to respond to the protection needs for victims of homotransphobia and discriminated people, and evolves, in April 2021, into Casa +, a safe haven that offers free hospitality, and where it is possible to carry out educational and work inclusion paths.
Here, the boys *, like L., are helped through individual and concrete interventions which are substantiated in the recovery of resources and in social reintegrationundertaking paths of personal and professional growthwith the aim of making them completely autonomous and capable of returning to fly alone.
How can I access Casa +? It is possible to contact Casa + CRI operators through the toll-free number 800 065510or through messages WhatsApp at the phone number 370 1288375active from Monday to Saturday, from 8:00 to 20:00.
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