“The Egon project”

Best project “Call for Entry” 2016

Transsexual: it is not easy to explain a word choked with clichés. A term that means a life in half, split into two parts as a just opened peach kernel. Or like two parallel lines that will never meet. Even indefinitely. Because being transgender means dark streets, car headlights, or worse, the bull’s-eye of the police headquarters’ lampshade, ready for a third degree about why and how. It also means prostitution, vice, disease, social hardship.

Words that for most people are very scary, that also contain the uncomfortable shoes where you are forced to live and that no one, or almost no one, can understand.

And just two breasts, accompanied by a bulge where the sun doesn’t beat, are enough to be pointed at and be labeled as different. And go to the streets, to satisfy a primordial sexual instinct, and adorn life with frustrating and smelly love encounters. But when a mother, a wife, is clutching a fake penis to put between the legs, then the question is different, bigger, even more difficult to fathom. And the fear takes over; the sense of despair invades everything, leaving you breathless. “Tostrex” screams the bottle of testosterone gel that Egon is to slather on his stomach every day. Two scars that cut the chest: red, deep, to repudiate the femininity donated by an unjust god, always too partial. His story rejects all clichés, by telling firsthand the difficult path of transsexuality, which is disrupted by all the medical theories wanting to give it a clinical definition at all costs. The photo collection jealously guards the emotions of a mother, reveals the role of a lover and a partner, reveals his wounds, his tears during a constant struggle against society, which refuses to recognize gender identity as an ‘identity not linked to biological sex’.
Egonci and I met in the summer of 2011, at the time she was still living with her husband and her two children on a farm a few kilometers from Pisa. She was attending her last sessions with a psychologist, a little later she started hormone therapy and faced the long journey that led her to become a man. I documented this journey for more than two years; together we have faced three house moves, a separation, a new love and an operation. It was a difficult experience; I was constantly undecided whether to lower my lenses in front of his intimacy, his tears and difficulties, or if to document them, to tell the truth. I found a middle ground, and this is the result.