Gondolier Alex Hai, who made headlines a decade ago for being the first woman to enter the male-dominated cadre of Venice's canal rowers, has announced he is transgender. Hai won a legal battle in 2007 and became the first official female gondolier to row tourists around the lagoon city.
Hai wrote on Facebook: "It is inaccurate to refer to me as 'she' or 'Alexandra' for any reason." In the online post, Hai said he had mastered rowing "while in the body of a woman." But he said he was not a woman "and the struggle of feminism is not my personal struggle. I simply want to do the work I'm passionate about."