In 2016, TGEU will hold the 6th European Transgender Council in the beautiful city of Bologna, Italy. We asked our local host and organiser, Movimento Identità Transessuale (MIT), some questions about their city, their community and the Council. Read what they told us and get a first impression of what you can expect next year in Bologna!
MIT Bologna, you were selected as host organisation for the 6th European Transgender Council. What was your motivation to volunteer for all that work?
We believe that hosting the Council can be a great opportunity for MIT and the local trans* community to get even stronger and more visible at the national level, but also for the whole city of Bologna. This city is accustomed to welcome many LGBT-related events: three different film and art festivals are held here every year, very popular events among citizens. Bologna has always demonstrated great attention to anti-discrimination and inclusion.
MIT was founded in 1982 and I’m sure has done a lot in these more than 30 years. What are you most proud of?
There are a lot of things that make us proud. To name just a few: In 1990, Marcella Di Folco the then leader of the association was elected as Councillor for District and in 1995 for the Municipality of Bologna, a role that had a decisive impact in the realization of future projects. Marcella was the first transgender in the world elected to a public office. In 2000, MIT organized two conferences with the participation of experts and leaders like Sylvia Rivera and Leslie Feinberg. At that time MIT was recognized by the H. Benjamin Institute as honorary member.
What is special about our organisation is the most important service offered, a medical clinic funded by the Regione Emilia Romagna (i.e. the state) which takes care of about 924 people. The team of the clinic includes psychologists-psychotherapists, an endocrinologist, and works in collaboration with surgeons. The other services offered by the association are a Job Desk for the defence of the rights at the workplace, job search, consultancy and legal assistance.
When I visited Bologna for the first time I was a bit surprised to find a rather liberal Italian city with a strong and vibrant trans community. Could you tell us a bit more about your community and live for trans people in Bologna?
Bologna has always been renowned for being one of the most LGBT friendly cities in Italy. Here the quality of life for trans people is definitely higher than in other cities, especially in terms of services and opportunities. Many people decide to take up residency in Bologna, in order to access MIT services. Plus, here they find a strong and varied community, which expresses itself through the many associations in the area and the opportunities for socialization and entertainment.
Why should one not miss coming to your city, to the Council in Bologna? Do you have any special ideas for the council you can reveal to our readers already?
For the days of the council we imagined a location that allows us to held all activities in one place, but we also want to create opportunities to meet with the local LGBT community in different places like for example at the Cassero LGBT Centre or at the Atlantide Occupata, the queerest place in town. During the Council we plan social and relaxing events to allow participants to meet the local LGBT community in different places and contexts. Also the city of Bologna will be full of cultural and entertaining events, part of the “Bé – Bologna Estate (Bologna Summer)” Festival.
To conclude: we are waiting for you all, it will be just fabulous!