Albano – At the Enoteca Io Vino the transgender writer Valerie Notari talks about herself in the pages of the new book “Gamer Girl”

I met Valerie Notari in the Io Vino wine shop, owned by Claudio Brancher and Francesca Moroni, in Albano Laziale, on the occasion of the Rights Week Against Discrimination.
Very tall and long-limbed, she has many freckles on her face, a make-up trend from a few years ago, a little green dress, blue hair “now faded, to be re-coloured soon” (cit.), and serene and vibrant eyes, Valerie, in art Imrieland it is one transgender writer and a veteran of cosplay (the art of wearing a costume of characters from anime, manga, so-called Japanese comics, and/or video games), very active on issues of LGBTQIA+ rights.

After the presentation at Palazzo Savelli on 18 June, he brought some copies of his second book to the wine shop “Gamer Girl”, published by Mondadori, during an aperitif which turned into a very pleasant chat between people, who, initially speaking partly out of curiosity, partly because they were fascinated by the innumerable nuances of the world of which it is part, but also to find out more on the book, at the last round of wine, they almost became old friends!
Thanks, certainly, to the glasses of wine, but, above all, to the easy-going, sociable and engaging personality of Valerie, who openly and happily declares herself a polyamorous trans lesbian.

I know that your family has a house in Rocca di Papa, and your mother moved there permanently two years ago. Now you live in Rome, in the Garbatella area, and your dream is to live in Pigneto. Do you come back to town sometimes?

Yes, we have always had this house, and, every time, it is a pleasure for me to spend time there, in that house which, especially in the summer, has seen me in all my stages of growth, and then welcomed me with this new female body of mine that continues to evolve thanks to hormone therapy.
Very willingly, when my schedule allows me, I return to the delightful Rocca di Papa.

What was your journey like to become…Valerie?

Fortunately, I had a very easy path, supported without any reservations by my family.
My mother, still present today in the audience, says very often that I have always put her in front of something more, that I have always gone further, in every field, saying and predicting the right things, even when, as a child, I told her that , over the years, our climate would have changed!

How long have you been Valerie?

In 2020, I lived with my ex, now one of my best friends – the love between us never ended, it just changed – and, during the long lockdown, when calm settled on the hectic life of all of us , I had a lot of opportunity and time to reflect, play video games, especially Cyberpunk, the first in which you could create a trans character.
The more I played, the more I found myself in that female body, the more I became aware of myself, and the more I felt free.
Furthermore, I had started writing “Gamer Girl”, my second book, which tells the story of Giulia, a seventeen-year-old trans girl, passionate, like me, about video games – League of Legends, above all – who, at a certain point, wants opening up to the world, “far from the prison of my old home, far from the screams of my parents”.
Writing and cosplay led me to coming out. During the writing process, I had a crisis, both professional and personal, and so, with a backpack on my shoulder and a suitcase, I left and stayed in a French co-living in the middle of the mountains, for three weeks. During that very period, I finished writing the book, and decided to begin the transition.
When I returned to Italy, I didn’t immediately go to Rome, but to Milan, where I began to come out.
I gave the book to my agent, and the publisher. And along with it, I delivered my new self to the world, happy and free.

What do your first book “Cosplay Girl” and “Gamer Girl” have in common?

Cosplay Girl told a sapphic love story and I wanted the second one to not be heteronormative either. So I decided to talk about Giulia, a trans girl, and Tommy, her asexual friend, and to do so, as always, I dedicated myself to a long research: I don’t know how to write about things I don’t know. By writing about Giulia I started to understand some things about myself that I hadn’t given the right importance to before.

What does Cosplay represent for you?

I have been cosplaying for twenty years. With cosplay you have the opportunity to test yourself in another person’s shoes.
Once, playing a male character, another time I felt bad!
When I went to Milan and came out, I told everyone to start using for me the pronouns of the characters I was cosplaying as… therefore… only and exclusively female pronouns!
Cosplay, along with writing, shaped me.

What is your constant reading?

Without a doubt…yuri manga (Japanese term indicating homosexual relationships between women or girls)!

How do you want to end this interview?

Definitely with a last glass of wine! And thanking you, Claudio and Francesca, and everyone present with whom I really had a very good time. Health!

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