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Surgery Obsessive Spends $76,000 In Quest For Perfection

September 5, 2019


FULVIA: No, I am not happy with my “perfect body”, because it is not perfect. Perfection
is something else. COMM: Transgender Fulvia Pelegrino has spent 80,000 Euros over the last 15 years transforming
her body through surgery. FULVIA: Plastic surgery is not a drug but it’s something people like me need. I am
not happy with my face and other parts of my body. 00:42
COMM: And her wife Marisa has stood by her. MARISA: Our relationship transformed slowly, also because Fulvia transformed slowly. All
the things we’ve done together, doctors, therapies help me to understand what was happening
to her. COMM: 56 year old Fulvia who was born Fulvio had wanted to transition for years but didn’t
feel able to until she was married and in her 40’s. FULVIA: I realised it at a very young age, around 15 years old, but I didn’t have the
opportunity to do it because I was living in a very religious family. It was difficult
to grow up with a body which is not yours and that you try to mask in every way, behaving
in a macho way, drinking beer, buying an American 4×4 and going shooting to make you feel like
a man when instead you understand it is a mask, so you need to throw it away and become
what you are. I was feeling trapped in my body. I had a hard time and I would drink
to forget it. I understood I had to talk to Marisa and undertake this path. COMM: And after getting over the initial shock Marisa was very understanding. FULVIA: In 2000 I told Marisa that I wanted to start the transition, but I didn’t know
how complex it would be. Obviously, Marisa lost it for a moment, it is not something
that is easy to accept. We went to a psychologist. Marisa being very open-minded only had one
session, she didn’t find it too hard to accept me. MARISA: In the end I’ve asked myself: What is more important? What is outside or what
is inside of the person? I realised at the time that I loved the person so it wasn’t
changing anything. COMM: But some things in their relationship have changed. FULVIA: Today Marisa and I are nothing more than two sisters. Also, Marisa’s not gay
and she wouldn’t have sex with me because I have boobs, and even though I still have
my male attributes they are “retired” due to the hormone therapy. We live together.
We argue like two normal people but not like husband and wife. MARISA: Of course the physical aspect is important, this is why we don’t have any sexual rapport
as wife and husband but we are more like 2 sisters. There is no attraction any more because
it is not Marisa and Fulvio, it is now Marisa and Fulvia. But there is affection. COMM: And while her brothers have been as accepting as Marisa, Fulvia’s parents were
not supportive. FULVIA: When I told my parents what I was, my mother pushed me away and my father asked
Marisa, my wife, to sign a paper to send me to as psychiatric institution to make me change
my mind. It was hard, truly very hard. When my father died, we were not allowed to go
to the funeral because they were ashamed of us. COMM: Now Fulvia is determined to become the woman she feels she is meant to be even if
it means more surgery. FULVIA: I won’t stop here, I want to continue with plastic surgery because this is not perfect.
If I reach perfection maybe I will stop.

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