The Story of Natale Morea.

 

This is the true story of a transgendered person in Italy who showed how transgendered people are often the most courageous.


Natale Morea was born in a small village in the south of Italy. As he grew up he realised that he wasn’t the same as other children. He was a trans child. He didn’t fit in with all the other boys, because he felt that he was also part girl.

“I am a boy as well as a girl” he said to himself one day. He liked to play girls’ games and thought of himself as a girl as well as a boy. He liked girls’ toys as well as boys’ and he was as happy playing with dolls as he was playing football.

 

This was not a problem for him. The problem was everyone else. At school he would be teased all the time by the boys, and sometimes by the girls.

“You’re just a sissy!” one of the boys screamed at him one day. And hit him hard in the stomach. As he fell to the ground another boy kicked him hard.

“Get up, sissy-boy!” he sneered, laughing and kicking him again. “Girly-boy!”

Another boy joined in and just when he thought the kicking was not going to stop, Miss Belini came running across the playground shouting.

"Stop that, stop that!"


Pulling the other boys away, she picked him up and took him inside. Too upset to stop himself he blurted out everything he had been feeling; how he wanted to be like a girl, how he loved playing with dolls and how he would sit and plait girl's long hair for them in the playground.


No matter what the teachers did, Natale was bullied more and more by the other children, mostly by the boys. Natale was a brave child and he just thought;

"I will wait until I leave school, grown-ups don't behave like school bullies. When I leave school everything will be OK."


So he waited, but as he started high school the bullying just got worse until eventually he stopped going to school at all, he just couldn't face the taunts, the name-calling, the ganging-up on him, the attacks on the way home from school and being left out of everything. By now no-one would talk to him, even some of the teachers made fun of him. He even went to see the priest in the church in the middle of the village, but the priest just called him an abomination saying "Get out of this holy building!"


Natale knew he could not stay living there any more and decided to go to the city where he would be able to live without everyone bullying him. So he moved to Milan, a large city in the north of Italy, where he lived in a small flat in the bustling and crowded city. There, everyone was so busy that they didn't worry about anyone else's business. Natale loved it and lived happily, he could wear what he liked and be a boy or a girl whenever he wanted to. He started up a small business, selling clothes and had a good life.


He lived happily for a long time and had many friends who knew him as both male and female. But bad times were round the corner. There was a depression, which meant that nobody had any money to spend, so no-one came into his shop to buy clothes and eventually he had to close his shop because it was making no money and he couldn't pay the rent.


With no job he couldn't stay in his flat and so he decided to try and move to Rome, the capital of Italy to try and find work. But when he got there he found that lots of other people had tried to do the same thing, and anyway, no-one wanted to give a job to a trans person like him.


In the end he had no money and no job and nowhere to live. He started to sleep and live on the streets, because he had nowhere else to go. He slept in doorways, in back alleys, anywhere he could keep dry and warm. It was very hard for him and as it got closer to Christmas it was harder to sleep in these places, and he spent long nights shivering from the cold.


One night, a few days before Christmas, he was trying to sleep in and alley. It was cold and he kept being disturbed by people coming out of a disco a few metres awayt. After a while he thought they had all gone home, as it was getting late, so he settled down and tried t get some sleep as best as he could.


It was then that he heard the click, click sound of high-heeled shoes as a group of teenage girls came chattering and laughing out of the nightclub. He looked up and saw five girls all standing outside in the cold waiting for their taxi to take them home. They were wearing gorgeous mini-dresses just like the ones he used to sell in his shop. He looked and thought how beautiful they looked. But suddenly the laughter and chatter of the girls changed to screams.


Five of nasty-looking men came running towards the girls and the girls started to run an scream. the sound of running feet in stilettoes down the alley past him. The screams got louder as the girls reached the end of the alley and realised that it was a dead end, they were trapped! The men, smiling coldly and with steely cold ugly eyes waked towards them.

"Get ready to do what we want you to do girls!" laughed one of them with a nasty grin.


The girls' screams got louder and more desperate;

"Help! Someone save us!" they cried.

Natale looked round from his place in the shadows. No-one was there to hear their cries.


The men were close to the girls by now, and Natale made a decision which would change his life, the girls' lives and the way the whole of Italy thought about transgendered people.


He stepped out of the shadows and stood between the men and the girls.


"Leave them alone!"


"Get out of the way you filthy tramp!" snarled one of them men.


Natale stood firm.


One of them hit him, he reeled from the blow but stayed where he was. The other men joined in and although he fought back bravely, there were too many for him. After a minute he fell to the ground, in a pool of his own blood, badly injured. The men carried on kicking him until he lost consciousness.


When he woke up, it took him a while to realise where he was. He was in hospital. There was a large machine beeping next to his bed, and lots of flowers and cards on the table next to him. Eventually he was able to understand the nurse. 


"You have been unconscious for a very long time." she said. "More than a year. You are lucky to be alive."


"What happened to the girls?" was his first question.

"The girls were able to get away, you saved them from a horrible attack." she replied. "The girls crept past the men while they were were concentrating on attacking you." The ran away and called the police. The men have all been arrested and put in prison for a very long time."


"How do you know all this?" asked Natale. "Did the police come here and tell you."

"No." she smiled. "I saw it all on the TV news and read about it in the newspapers."

"The TV? The newspapers?"


"That's right, you are famous." said the nurse. "All of Italy knows your name. You see these flowers and these cards. This is just a small number of all we have. There are too many to get into this room, we have had to take them and put them all into your flat."

"My flat?" Natale looked puzzled. "But I am homeless, I have no flat."

"Yes you do." she said. "Look at the set of keys on the table next to you."


Natale reached for the keys and held them in front of his eyes. He still found it difficult to focus but eventually he saw what was written on the keyring.


A special gift from the people of our village to our hero Natale Morea. Please come back, you are welcome here forever.


And it was signed by the mayor of the village where he used to live!


"The people of your village felt so ashamed that they had bullied you and made you leave that they bought you your own flat there and they want you to come home. They are sorry for the way they treated you." said the nurse with a tear in her eye.


She hugged him. "All of Italy is proud of you. People here will never bully transgendered people like you again. You have shown how much courage trans people have. you a re a very brave person."


It would be nice to say that Natale Morea lived happily every after but sadly real life is not like fairy tales. He did go back and live in his village and they did welcome him with open arms being very sorry for what they had done. He did go to his new flat and read at all the thousands of cards that had been sent to him from all over Italy. But sadly he was too badly injured to make a full recovery and two years later he died of his injuries. But he never regretted what he did. He never regretted saving the girls' lives and making the lives of thousands of transgendered people better in Italy.



(c) Natacha Kennedy 2009

 

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