Officer fights dismissal for dressing as a woman

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Italian police photo: Shutterstock
11:23 CEST+02:00
A police officer from Venice who was fired in 2006 for dressing as a woman may soon be able to return to the force, as well as claim damages, after a court ruled he was suffering from a “disease”.

Giorgio Asti, 53, has been out of work, living with his elderly parents and surviving off their pension since being fired from the police after being seen walking around Venice “wearing a skirt and earrings”, the Veneto edition of Corriere reported earlier this week.

“Yes, I dress like a woman but I’m not gay, nor transsexual. I feel like a true police officer. I’ve liked women’s clothes ever since I was a child,” Asti said in an interview with Corriere in March 2007.

Asti’s case will now be reassessed after the regional administrative court upheld his appeal and ruled he is suffering from “gender identity disorder”.

The case also looks set to be debated in Parliament after it was picked up by the gay politician, Alessandro Zan.

“We’ve demonstrated that our client was not someone who should have been fired for serious misconduct. On the contrary, he was someone who needed help,” one of his two lawyers, Alfredo Auciello, was quoted by Corriere as saying.

Auciello added that Asti has “reflected a lot” over the past few years and has come to accept being a transgender, a situation he describes as something that has been “defined in literature and affects one in 30,000 men.”

Now that Asti has been defined as transgender, his expulsion from the police force will be reassessed.

Pending the outcome, he may be able to return to the force as well as claim unpaid wages for the past eight years and damages, Auciello said.

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“The best part of the adventure will now begin,” he added.

“What is certain is that this time, he will not face a disciplinary committee alone.” 

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