Camilla Vivian and Michela Mariotto met virtually in October 2016 after Camilla opened her blog www.miofiglioinrosa.com. Two women with quite varied lives full of travels and very open to the world’s different experiences.
Michela, a cultural anthropologist, had focused her studies on the constitutive processes of gender, starting from a feminist perspective, and had recently started a research on the narration of the families of gender variant children in Barcelona.
Michela, finding the blog of Camilla writes:
I visited your blog some time ago and you cannot imagine how amazed I was and how much joy I felt when I saw that finally someone in Italy was talking about gender variance in children. Congratulations for your initiative and courage.
I will briefly tell you what I do and why I am writing to you: I graduated in foreign languages in Milan and then in cultural anthropology in Venice. For a couple of years I have been working as a PhD student in a research project for the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona about gender variant children and their families. There is not a specific reason, Camilla, because I decided to undertake this unusual project that will need, if all goes well, 5 years of my life, quite high expenses, but above all a lot, a lot, a lot of energy.
Surely there are some personal reasons (there is always an autobiographical component in the decisions we make!), But I think the main reason lies in my stubborn passion, which I have been growing since I was very little, for everything that is other than me, far away for its appearance, but not for this considered separate or distinct. Implicit in the meaning of “otherness” for me, there has always been the possibility, and I would add the need, for an encounter, an embrace of identity and above all a profound reflection on human nature and on the political and social structures that regulate our existence.
In this sense, gender variance represents, in my opinion, an incredible opportunity not only to explore the different forms of living and expressing gender, but above all to start a reflection, with all the courage that this operation takes, on those cultural paradigms concerning gender and sexuality of each of us …”
From this very moment their friendship is formed. A friendship based on meetings with experts, going to conferences together, comparing issues and experiences but especially wanting to support families and all those interested in understanding what gender variance is and how to approach it in a positive way.
In the last couple of years, Michela has been working as a PhD student in a research project for the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona on gender variant children and their families. She’s interviewed dozens of families with gender variant kids age 3 – 12 in Spain and Italy gaining a great amount of experience in the field. As an anthropologist and researcher, she provides her studies, her research, but above all her passion for what she is doing to the GenderLens Project, in order to explain gender variance through other lenses wishing to create a more inclusive society that respects diversity whatever that means.
Camilla, as a mother and activist, provides her personal experience gained through her studies to the GenderLens project. On a daily basis, she gathers informations from families, scholars, activists around the world with which she has created a network of common action, making herself the vehicle of a message of transpositiveness in Italy. As one of the few activist moms for gender variant children rights in Italy she has participated in conferences, she has published a book soon to be also sold in Spanish speaking countries and France called “Mio Figlio in Rosa”, she was a TEDx speaker and she regularly writes her blog www.miofiglioinrosa.com in which she shares her life and information.