NAME: Carla Antonelli
BACKGROUND: High Studies
POSITION: Member of Parliament
My Background and Career
My name is Carla Antonelli, I’m an actress and I’ve been an activist in the fight for gay, lesbian and transsexuals’ rights. During the 2011-2015 term, I was an MP of the Madrid Assembly for the PSOE, being the first Spanish transsexual to hold a position of parliamentary representation in the regional field.
I was born in 1959, in a town in the south of Tenerife. When I was 17 years old, misunderstood by my family, I felt the necessity of escaping and developing my real gender identity. So, in 1977, I decided to move to Las Palmas of Gran Canaria to study Art and Interpretation. In Madrid in 1980, with the aim of giving visibility, I starred in my first thematic documentary about transsexualism which was broadcasted in TVE. I’ve worked in film and TV.
In 1997, I became active part of the PSOE, together with Carmen Cerdeira. Both of us formed the Federal Group of Gay, Lesbian, Transsexual and Bisexuals of the PSOE, for which I was the coordinator.
I worked in the electoral programme in which the same sex marriage and the Gender Identity Law for transsexual people were included. The law, the most developed one, because it gives priority to the proof of life (which means that one person lives according to the gender and name he or she wants to register) about the surgery, got approved.
In 2007, I achieved “being named” (ID card, register) and being recognized as the woman I am. I received in 2009 the Cardon Prize in the municipality of Guimar, Tenerife, for my life cause.
I’ve worked and fought so much to reach a better life. I’ve had the usual economic problems, marked by the fact that many times in “normal” jobs I was vetoed because of being a transsexual.
My family couldn’t understand my sexual orientation, and they didn’t take an interest in me, to not face up to what I really was.
They were very tough times, the transition times, years of exclusion, marginalization and banning. I had to fight a lot to get ahead: I went through many days of suffering and extreme situations. The worst thing was having to prostitute myself in a corner of Santa Catalina’s Park in order to survive. The police repression lead me to be in prison for four months because, at that time, the Social Danger Law promoted that every homosexual and transsexual women, because of being such, had to go to prison.
My key for success is my strong personality and character. I am firm, patient and I always wait for the right moment to act. Thanks to my efforts and my personal conditions, I’ve been able to overcome all obstacles. It is essential to achieve success in society to count on people who trust in you, who support you emotionally and professionally. For that, it is necessary to know how to manage to make good contacts and choose the people who can understand your motivations. Counting on the President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s support has made my path easier.
Abilities and attitudes:
• I can easily adapt to change.
• I listen and pay attention to someone’s problems.
• I like to collaborate with other people when working.
• My personal development through work is important.
• In cases of conflict, I bring peace.
• I like to negotiate and that all the people leave satisfied.
• I like to work as a team.
• I organise activities and in an easy way.
• I am able to use the experience and advice of others
From my qualities I would emphasise that I am quite ambitious, very active, progressive and shy. I consider myself as a critical and cooperative person. I am very changeable and unpredictable. On occasions I can be traditional, distrustful, rational, rigid, insecure, prudent, analytic, methodical, spontaneous, authoritarian and even impatient. I’ve always been an open-minded woman.
Hints & Tips
Lucky Saying: "Don’t flag, be persistent"
My advice for other women, who want to undertake a business or project, is being persistent.
One must understand that when setting up a business, many important aspects such as the perseverance, the confidence and the strength are developed.
In order to reach your aims, it is necessary to overcome weaknesses such as insecurities or fears.