Italy: Venice's first female gondolier announces he is transgender

Alex Hai, who made headlines a decade ago for becoming Venice’s first female gondolier, has revealed that he is transgender and has always considered himself a man. The 50-year-old German made history in 2007, when he fought to become the first official female accepted by Venice’s exclusive guild of gondoliers, which had not employed a woman in 900 years, and won the right to become a private gondolier.

Hai was the defendant in the lawsuit, which was filed against him by Venetian City Hall, in an attempt to prevent him from rowing people around the canals of Venice in his gondola.

"My name is Alex Hai, and I am transgender," the gondolier, who arrived in Venice in the 1980s, wrote on Facebook.

“I am supportive of equal rights for women, and feel that as someone who mastered the craft of rowing while in the body of a woman, I have proved that 'yes even a girl can do it.' However, I myself am not a woman, and the struggle of feminism is not my personal struggle. I simply want to do the work I'm passionate about, and be seen by the people around me the way I see myself,” Hai concluded in the post. Read more via Il Globo