Drag queen stands for parliament

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A renowned Italian gay pride figure is ditching the sequins and feather boas in a bid to become the country’s first trans MP.

Vladimir Luxuria, a former organiser of Italy’s gay pride parades, has joined the Communist Refoundation and wants to be seen as a serious politician.

Born Wladimiro Guadagno, she considers herself neither male nor female but dresses as a woman and prefers to be called a ‘she.’ Political observers are tipping her for a guaranteed seat as the party is expected to get at least 6% of the vote and she is top of the list for the proportional representation system.

The 40 year old told Reuters: “It’s a way to say to people: don’t judge me by the way I look, don’t judge me by my sexual orientation. Please, judge me by my ideas.”

“Parliament is not a theatre, it’s not a discotheque. It’s already revolutionary that a transgender gets into parliament. It wouldn’t be useful to provoke in such a stupid way.”

She promises to work in parliament to establish full legal recognition of gay marriage, but stressed that she is not pushing for adoption rights for gays, such as exist in Spain, because “Italian society isn’t ready to accept it”.

The Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition, which is campaigning on traditional family values, hopes Italians will disapprove of the sexually ambiguous politician. However, the centre left hopes her presence will demonstrate a modern, tolerant view of Italy.