Milan paves the way for gender registries across Italy

The history-making move supports the rights of Transgender and non-binary citizens with identification documents and facilitation of voting rights.

Split-screen: flag of Italy (left), Monica Romano, Milan's first Transgender city councillor (right)
Image: Image by greghristov from Pixabay | Via Twitter @marco_bertacche

Several cities in Italy are presenting motions to establish gender registries for Transgender and non-binary people, following the lead of Milan where it was approved last month.

Bologna, Rome, Venice and Padua are among those fighting to create similar registries which will allow Transgender citizens to use their correct name instead of their birth name on identification documents such as travel cards for public transport, library cards and business badges and documents.

This development also supports Trans citizens’ voting rights, which have historically seen problems due to gendered polling stations, leading many Trans people to abandon their vote “to avoid situations of embarrassment”, according to

Milan’s precedent-setting register was approved on 17 May 2022, having been brought forward by Monica J Romano, the city’s first Transgender councillor.

She presented the motion to support all Transgender and non-binary citizens, and it now appears to be gaining momentum, as she is due to present again at the Equal Opportunities Commission of the Municipality of Bologna on June 22. Joining her in presenting this motion will be Deputy Mayor Emily Clancy and the President of Equal Opportunities at the Municipality of Bologna, Porpora Marcasciano.

“I am very happy with the interest shown by the Municipality of Bologna, by the Deputy Mayor Clancy and by the commission president Marcasciano,” said Romano. “Milan and Bologna are cities that have historically guided the compass of rights.”

“As the Register of Civil Unions approved in Milan in 2012 anticipated the recognition of same-sex couples, today the Gender Register will be at the forefront for the recognition of citizenship rights for transgender people ”

On the same day that Milan’s gender registry was approved, the city of Milan also became an official LGBTQ+ Freedom Zone, demonstrating the city’s commitment to LGBTQ+ rights in line with the values set by the European Union.

This move comes in response to the establishment of LGBT-free zones in Hungary and Poland, among other homophobic and transphobic legislation which continues to marginalise members of our community.

Just earlier this week, Dublin was also declared an LGBTQ+ Freedom Zone, as voted in by Dublin City Councillors this Pride month.

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