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Italy: University allows trans students to self-identify on official forms

Italy: University allows trans students to self-identify on official forms

A student wearing a robe blowing glitter

An Italian university will let trans students self-identify on their official assessment tracker.

The University of Basilicata (Unibas) is a public research university located in Potenza and Matera, in southern Italy. It has just joined a network of other Italian academic institutions in allowing its trans students to choose the gender they identify with and relevant pronouns and names on official papers.

Carriera alias for trans students

Thanks to this confidential measure, known as carriera alias, trans students who haven’t legally changed their gender will be able to have a positive academic experience.

They will go by their chosen names throughout their academic career. This will also include having a personal assessment tracker bearing the trans person’s name alongside the one with the official name students are given at the beginning of their degree courses.

The trans-inclusive procedure, however, won’t have any legal value outside of the university. Italian law requires a minimum of two years in order to allow transgender individuals to change their legal name.

Improving access to education for trans people

Unibas is one of the five universities that have adopted the measure in 2019. Others throughout the country have done so over the past years.

Trans student advocacy group Universitrans has worked together with Unibas.

‘We don’t have to look at carriera alias as a big civil rights achievement. This is just a way to make up for an outdated law, dating back to 1982,’ Antonia Caruso of Universitrans told GSN.

Caruso co-founded the group with Beatrice Starace and now is at the forefront of the fight for trans student rights with Ludovico Virtù.

‘If the procedure [to legally change one’s name] was easier and didn’t require a judge’s approval – including legal fees trans people have to pay themselves – carriera alias won’t be necessary,’ she also said.

She then added: ‘Improving the ways trans people access education is crucial for their well-being. And this starts in primary school.’

Caruso is currently working on a series of trans-inclusive workshops for primary school students.