Last year, there were many setbacks for the acceptance of trans, inter, and non-binary individuals worldwide – and here in Austria, the tone is growing harsher, especially with the FPÖ consistently standing out negatively.
They incessantly rail against our existence. They sympathize with autocratic regimes like Orban, Meloni, and Putin, doing everything in their power to strip away our hard-fought rights, often secured through numerous legal battles.
They speak of an ‚LGBTQ lobby‘ and ‚transgender madness sweeping from the US to Europe,‘ but what they really mean is their hatred for anything that doesn’t fit into their idealized world of ‚father works, mother stays at home, and the child obediently stays quiet and doesn’t cause any disruptions.‘
‚When even small children are indoctrinated with the nonsense that there are more than two genders and that they can change their gender at any time, this madness must be kept away from the weakest in our society – the children,‘ stated Dominik Nepp.
What are the consequences of keeping this away? At the beginning of this year, a 14-year-old trans boy in Salzburg’s Pongau ended his life far too early.
To see suicide as the only perspective at 14 is a consequence of the fascists‘ hatred from the FPÖ and this society, a result of isolating children from trans individuals by their parents, of concealing their existence.
In the online condolences book of the funeral home, there’s this message: ‚Much love… I knew him, but please, at least if you didn’t call him by his real name while he was alive, do it now that he’s no longer here. Rip small angel.‘ His name is not mentioned there.
Lucy Salani, the only Italian trans woman who survived a concentration camp, passed away this year at 98.
Last year also saw the passing of Cloe Bianco. The Italian trans woman gained attention due to her widely reported suicide. A technical teacher at a high school originally from Marcon, Venice, she came out in 2015.
Parents of some students protested against Cloe’s feminine presentation.
Soon after, there were also hostilities from politicians. Elena Donazzan from Fratelli d’Italia, a party to which Georgia Meloni also belongs, referred to her coming out as ‚a carnival.‘
Cloe Bianco was gradually pushed out of her work and then slowly erased from public view.
Cloe didn’t want to start hormone therapy. In Italy, it’s mandatory to undergo hormone therapy for at least a year to change one’s name and gender marker.
Shortly before her suicide, she left a post on her blog announcing her decision. In her final writings, she didn’t justify her act but wrote about the importance of trans people’s rights.
Later, firefighters found her car, where she was living, engulfed in flames. Inside the van, her charred body was discovered.
Italian media reporting Cloe’s death didn’t hesitate to use ‚he‘ pronouns and her deadname for her: many articles in Italian media like La Stampa referred to Cloe using masculine pronouns and her previous name.
The story of Cloe Bianco’s suicide, marked by severe discrimination at work, became an example of what daily life can be like for a trans person in Italy.
Left-wing parties officially hold Meloni, the self-proclaimed ‚post-fascist,‘ partially accountable for the suicide.
Today, we commemorate her and all others we lost last year due to hate and violence. Our thoughts are with all those who advocate for our rights and endure reprisals and persecution because of it.
Together, we are strong, resisting the attacks and repression directed at us. Let us stand up and fight against the hate and transphobia that confront us. Day by day. Everywhere.
Let us defend our rights in solidarity.
We are not alone,
our fight is together,
a collective rebellion against bigotry and cowardice,
a united front,
Never forget – never forget – mai dimenticare