“Those like me“, A recent book by Andrea Meroni and Luca Locati Luciani (PM Edizioni) reconstructs a very important film from 1970, Splendors and miseries of Madame Royalethe first to stage the hitherto persecuted world of drag queens. A masterpiece by Vittorio Caprioli starring Ugo Tognazzi, in which he too appeared, in a small cameo, Gianna Parenti (1945-2019), born in Sesto Fiorentino, among the first transsexuals in Italywho here plays the role of an intrusive countess, with crinolines, wigs and a large representative stick – Versailles style – intent on quarreling with the great prima donna drag of the historic company of the Legnanesithe very blonde can be bought.
Problems at work and obstacles to reintegrating into society
In 1977 it Italy in pajamas by Guido Guerrasio, Parenti was finally in the guise of herself. The documentary had as its theme The sexual customs of the Italian tribes (so reads the subtitle). Gianna appeared in the dressing room with a décolleté dress with not a few transparencies, and an imposing necklace. She declared, categorically: “I agree (to the question about sex and love of the interviewer), but we have many problems, first of all perhaps the biggest, the reintegration into society which very often does not happen due to ignorance and a morbid curiosity on the part of people. And second of all, we also in the workplace we are very hinderedwhen they have to make an important contract they prefer to entrust it to an obscure name, to one who is not a star, not even an artist, but she was born that way, it’s a really annoying thing “.
“We trans have a tendency to transformation”
An indictment followed by a variety number, with a dedication to Sesto Fiorentino and his friends there. As he told the story of him a Marcasciano purplein the fundamental volume of the history of transsexuals “Between roses and violets” (2002, recently re-edited by Edizioni Alegre), the scene had been his fate. “When I started the trans experience, after about a year from Florence I went to live in Paris, and I spent my twenty years there. As soon as I arrived I was hired in troupe del Carousel, which was the most famous place in the world for transvestites and transvestites. It was a place near Montmartre, where there was theater, cabaret and many other things. There I met the trans friends who taught me. There were those who taught you to wear make-up, those to comb your hair, the tricks of dressing, how to hide flaws and accentuate virtues, and we trans in this know more than the devil: after all we have an innate tendency for transformation. There was also so much malice and so much envy that have never been lacking in certain environments, indeed at times they were the rule! These are the dynamics of the world of entertainment, after all, trans women live in the world of entertainment, if they did not feel eternally on a stage, they would be in crisis “.
Eva von Pigalle at the school of rhinestones and feathers
In Paris, on the small stage of Madame Arthur, and in many other theaters of the world, she had been Eva von Pigallename he gave to his character a touch of exoticism, to compete with the celebrities of the place, where Coccinelle had revealed herself. The names were those of Zambellà, Sciu Sciu, Bambi. She later she was able to appear on stage alongside Carlo Cecchi The mandrake. “Being an artist helped me a lot in aesthetics, I remember I had the most beautiful costumes of all why I drew them myself, I had a lot of flair and creativity, so I always stood out from the others, even at the time of the Carousel. The most beautiful dress I remember, from when I was in Italy, was a black crinoline from the 1950s, in tulle, very wide, long to the ground. I have a trunk full of costumes and rhinestone crowns, when I open it that’s all a glitter and a thousand memories! I also liked to use these exaggerated costumes with the rhinestones in the middle. My education was Parisian and therefore my school was the Folies Bergeres: the school of rhinestones and feathers. I still have huge feather fans. Even the trick I was passionate about it: I did it very well, both the exaggerated one for the evening or the show and the sober and refined one for having tea with friends. Today I no longer wear makeup, I have worn makeup for too long, I only do it on big occasions like New Year’s Eve or if I go to the theater one night, and even in these cases I only use light makeup. Now I prefer to be soap and water! ”.
Activism for the recognition of transgender people
Leaving the scene, Eva von Pigalle became an activist of the Radical Party and then of Italian Transsexual Movement, of which she was president. She was remembered in the 2019 edition of Florence Queer Festival, with an exhibition curated by Sandra Nastri, in which her stage clothes were presented, created by the Sartoria Teatrale Antonietta, while the IREOS archive has some documents on her biographical journey. In the following years, her profile was that of an activist, in the front row to apply for the law n. 164 of 1982 which defined the presence of transsexuals in Italian society. Always painter of ceramics, he had made an exhibition of his watercolor dishes at the Piccolo Cafè in 2007, paying homage to a tradition that belonged to the nineteenth-century productions of Richard Ginori from Sesto.