“It takes courage to change into who you really are”: with this sentence, at the end of 2020, Gina Chua, now 60 years old, announced the transition from male to female. Journalist of international standing at the time already in force at the agency Reuters, after 16 years al Wall Street Journaland about two to the management of the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, is today the protagonist of another change, more epochal than personal: the new director of Reuters Alessandra Galloni named her executive editor, which is her second, making her the highest-ranking transgender journalist in her career. “They are an example of how after a change of sex they don’t necessarily fire you,” she commented, with a joke, on her hiring. Which came on the basis of another epochal entry: Alessandra Galloni, an Italian graduate of Harvard, 47, is the first woman in 170 years to head the agency Reuters .
The role of “executive editor”, in charge of the 2,500 journalists who Reuters has in 200 cities in the world was created ad personam by Galloni. It also predicts that Chua will have to find for the largest agency in the world “New audiences and new ways of telling stories”. A graduate in mathematics and then a major in journalism from Columbia University, Gina Chua has been curating a for many years blog titled (Re)Structuring Journalism, “(Re) structuring journalism”, which is a laboratory of ideas – signed, until 2020, with the old male name now deposited – on how to converge the traditional rules of the profession with the digital and new technologies.
On the blog Gina Chua announced her transition in a post titled “Changes”, similar to the email she sent, on December 18, to her colleagues at Reuters. During the months of lockdowns and home work, she wrote to them, “I adapted to this new skin. I have been traveling for some time now: a private journey that is time to make it a personal passage. I am transgender and from today I will live and present myself according to my authentic identity 100% of the time ». “I have made this passage public,” he now explains to New York Times, “Because there are 14-year-olds who need to know that transition is not a death sentence”.
Born in the 1960s in Singapore, into a Catholic family, Chua says in interviews “that she did not understand for a long time that I identified myself as a woman, because if you don’t have internet, you don’t know anyone like you, how do you know?“. Years of “restlessness and uncertainty” resolved in 2020 with the transition: “I seem to have freed 20% of the space in my brain,” he says now. Meanwhile, the degree in mathematics, the start of a career as a correspondent from Southeast Asia and then by signing the Wall Street Journal. But it was only in 2005, with the move to New York, that «I began to accept my transsexuality. Okay, I told myself. But I’m not going to make a real transition, it’s too hard. ” Thus begins «one painful double life: two groups of friends, two wardrobes, two personalities“. Then the lockdown, and a sense of greater centering.
Chua will be back in the office, in attendance, in July. Carrying changes not only in the structure of the agency – whose site, for example, will soon be paid for – but also in its language. Transgender people “will no longer be portrayed as victims,” he writes, but as well-rounded characters in the stories that happen to them. An epochal change, in which there is a lot of staff.
June 5, 2021 (change June 5, 2021 | 22:37)
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