Far right puts brakes on a new law that aims to stamp out homophobia in Italy

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04/04/2021

Daniela Lourdes Falanga has had her fair share of battles. The first was to survive a brutal upbringing as the firstborn son of a mafia boss in Naples. Falanga, 43, had been expected to follow in the footsteps of her father, currently serving a life sentence, into the powerful Camorra organised crime syndicate. Instead, she found the courage to break ranks, and in 2019 was elected the first trans woman president of a branch of Arcigay, Italy’s largest LGBT activist group. “I was not the boy who could adapt to that family, and it brought me so much suffering,” Falanga, who leads Arcigay in Naples, told the Observer. “And so, aged 17, I rebelled. When I transitioned, I did so for freedom and happiness. This is where my activism for trans people was born – I wanted people to understand that we are the same as everyone else and not monsters.”

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