Italy may skirt issue of special loo for 'Luxuria'
John Hooper in Rome
ITALY: The speaker of Italy's lower house of parliament has an unusual problem as he prepares to rule on the appropriate sanitary arrangements for its most singular member.
Wladimiro Guadagno, who prefers to go by his former stage name of Vladimir Luxuria, describes himself as "transgender" and, while he has never had a sex change operation, dresses and behaves entirely as a woman.
Since being elected to parliament in April, the actor- singer-turned-politician has been using the ladies' loos.
But last Friday, the sight of Mr Guadagno adjusting his skirt and preparing to freshen his lipstick proved too much for one of Silvio Berlusconi's supporters. Elisabetta Gardini said she felt as if she had been the victim of a "sex attack".
Peacemakers suggested that a third loo might be created for Mr Guadagno and his assistant, who is of a similar orientation.
But the spokesman for the Christian Democrat Party was adamant that "there are only two genders - male and female".
After a heated session, the house affairs committee dodged the issue by saying that an MP's choice of loo was personal.
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