Written by Monica Landro
STEFANO FERRI, the straight man who wears women’s clothes, sends out a message: “No one should cut off their uniqueness”.
His extraordinary story in the autobiographical novel ‘CROSSDRESSER – Stefano and Stefania, the two parts of me’.
He is a journalist, communications consultant, writer, career man, attentive husband and caring father… and he has a total look out of the ordinary: as a woman! Yes, he is Stefano Ferri, he is 56 years old, beautiful blue eyes, totally heterosexual and crossdresser! In Italian we could translate it as ‘transvestite’ but he is not a transvestite. He is simply a man who has unhinged cultural and social mechanisms by going beyond, where only those who can free themselves from prejudice can go: where they feel good. And he feels good in women’s clothes.
We met him because his latest literary effort is indeed an autobiographical novel, written during the pandemic and which could only be entitled ‘CROSSDRESSER- Stefano and Stefania, the two parts of me’. Does this all sound strange to you? It isn’t! On the contrary, everything is extremely normal.
Who do I mainly talk to, Stefano or Stefania?
You talk to Stefano, because the idea of the woman next door expressed in the book is a metaphor. The whole book describes my psychotherapeutic journey. For many years with the psychotherapist we went on with this metaphor of Stefano and Stefania, and when she told me that in me the integration between the male and female sides had never occurred as it normally does, she was telling a truth: she was pointing out to me that in my childhood there was something left hanging, I accepted the thought but I had to work to accept the truth, because it struck my male pride. When you are unresolved and untroubled, one clings to things like pride, normality, tradition, which, however, are not for us human beings who by nature are warm, provocative and free, and so when you have something inside, which wants to come out, you have to give it a chance, you have to go beyond it, even if society challenges you.
Basically, everyone should be able to dress how they feel…
Exactly. All women have something masculine in their wardrobes. None of us can know the intimate web of motivations that drives a woman to always choose trousers. Is it just practicality or is there more to it than that? The women’s movement, which has thus gained the freedom to dress, makes it superfluous to investigate why because the woman in a man’s suit is normal. We, on the other hand, cannot: those of my age were the first to break through this stupid taboo… fortunately the very young today are free of it.
Do you have women’s trousers in your wardrobe?
During the pandemic I threw away the last two pairs. The trousers were a compromise, where society still did not accept me. Unlike a woman, a male Crossdresser has to react to the social stigma with exaggeration: if a woman puts on a jacket and trousers, I can see that she is a woman but if I, a man, put on a jacket and trousers, the Crossdresser is no longer seen… I want it to be seen because it is a matter of identity.
Is there a provocation in this?
No, I can’t help wearing women’s clothes. In me, psychological development has followed a very original path and this happens to everyone because we are all unique. Let’s say that my originality is very evident. I can’t wear clothes other than these (Stefano is sitting in front of me in an orange silk jersey, a blue skirt and orange sandals that match the jersey beautifully). I have done 36 years always in trousers and now I want to break free, so I don’t wear them willingly.
Following your inclination to dress as a woman has put you in touch with your true ‘self’. How do you combine this form of selfishness, bordering on hurting or upsetting those around you, with the fact that you have found yourself again?
It was a gradual process. Cross-dressing started in 2002, but it wasn’t like I started dressing as a woman overnight, out of respect for the shock I would have caused my wife and family. Now I walk around quietly, but 20 years ago, I didn’t leave the house like that. It all started with an effemination. After all, when my wife met me I already had an effeminate and eccentric outfit and she fell in love with that Stefano. I believe my wife saw what I would become and loved it.
She sublimated your soul compared to your appearance. What we should all do…
In 10 years we should all be prepared for the mass arrival of the fluid generation.
Stefano, what is your relationship with God?Let’s say that I believe in God as Indro Montanelli did, whom I loved very much by the way. There is a phrase of his, which I feel very much my own. ‘In dying, it is not we who owe God an explanation, but if there is a God, it is he who owes it to us’.
What has this journey taught you?
My realization implied such a visible condition that I make it a kind of message: NO ONE SHOULD TIRELESSLY TIRELESS THEIR OWN UNIQUENESS. Whatever the cost, because away from yourself, you are nothing. Your existential field is yourself, not out of selfishness, but because physiologically we are made that way. If you want to express as much good as you can and thus come to leave more than you have found, you must go through you.