Italian city lets transgender people choose name on travel pass

Move prompted by story of 15-year-old commuter.

Ravenna has become the first city in Italy to allow transgender people to select their chosen name to appear on their travel pass.

The move was prompted by the story of 15-year-old Greta who has gone through the process of gender transitioning over the last three years but who is still identified as male on identity documents.

When travelling back and forth to school, Greta had preferred to buy single tickets instead of registering for a monthly pass, as the name she uses does not match the one on her ID card, local media reports.

One day she forgot to buy a ticket and when sanctioned by the bus inspector, who was unaware of her personal situation, she was forced to give her official name, an incident which had a traumatic effect on the young commuter.

Greta and her parents, founders of the Affetti oltre il genere association, subsequently raised the case with local public transport company, Start Romagna, which decided to turn the negative experience into a positive.

The company agreed to issue special season bus passes for transgender people, in collaboration with Affetti oltre il genere, on which their chosen name will appear alongside an electronic stamp whose data can be read by ticket inspectors.

Start Romagna also says it has trained its staff to be sensitive in the event of similar episodes and plans to extend the ticket measure elsewhere.

"Giving transgender people the opportunity to travel with their chosen name and not necessarily the personal one represents a real revolution on public transport passes in Italy but above all a great step forward in the path of rights for gender self-determination." 

This was the joint statement released by the region's vice president Elly Schlein, transport councillor Andrea Corsini and equal opportunities councillor Barbara Lori. "Now the hope is that this can be an example for all other transport companies in the region and in Italy."

"This is the Italy and Ravenna that we like” - Greta's mother told local newspaper Corriere di Romagna, adding - "After the failure of the Zan bill this was needed."

The move comes as Italy updates its Highway Code to ban roadside advertising that is discriminatory towards gay people or that causes offence in relation to people's gender identity or sexual orientation.

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Address Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy

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Italian city lets transgender people choose name on travel pass

Ravenna, Province of Ravenna, Italy