Alessandra Bernaroli has been battling with the Italian government for the past five years to keep her legal marriage in tact.
When I was small I liked to play with little girls, I was looking to understand their femininity. I dreamed of becoming a woman but I had no idea what trans-sexuality was.
The 43-year-old bank employee from Bologna was living as a male when she met her wife in the mid-1990s. The couple wed in 2005. It was only after the marriage that Alessandra exposed her transgender feelings to her spouse.
I hid my inner torment from my wife but I felt trapped in a prison, in a body that had become an enemy to me. I suffocated my true identity.
After Bernaroli came out to her wife, her wife agreed to stand by her throughout the process. Alessandra underwent a series of operations in Thailand in 2009.
When they returned to Italy and sought to update their national identity cards, they were informed that they would no longer be classified as married.