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Trans truck driver takes legal action against employer

Yepoka Yeebo July 25, 2007
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A transsexual who claims she was hounded out of her job as a trucker after she began her transition from her former male gender is seeking thousands of pounds in damages from her former employer.

Vikki-Marie Gaynor, 37, from Wallasey in Wirral, is bringing a sexual discrimination claim against Exel Europe, part of delivery giant DHL, and recruitment agency Blue Arrow.

The ex-soldier claims that previously friendly members of staff at the depot in Kirkby, Merseyside, started ignoring her, and began a campaign of harassment, including dumping her belongings and makeup in a toilet.

“I began to notice people talking about me and on one occasion, a driver backed away from me while covering his backside and muttering under his breath,” Gaynor told the Daily Mail.

She intends to take up her case with an employment tribunal.

Gaynor got her HGV licence through the Royal Corps of Transport as a teenager, and started working with Exel Europe last October, after being recruited through Blue Arrow.

“When I first started, I was a respected driver, I turned up for work on time and did my job very professionally.

“My bosses knew me as Mike [Gaynor] and had no idea I was a transsexual,” she told the Daily Mail.

Gaynor claims that the discrimination began after she told her bosses, who were ostensibly supportive, about the transition.

“Almost as soon as I told them I was changing my name to Vikki-Marie and entering the transition stage of my gender reassignment things changed.

“I started getting hurtful comments and my shifts started being canceled without warning.”

A spokesperson for DHL told the Daily Mail: “We have robust grievance processes in place to deal with any such allegations and they are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

“Unfortunately, the employee was not satisfied with the outcome.”

Gaynor resigned on March 12th and is now setting up a business offering schools and employers workshops and information about transexuality.

“In the end I realised I could no longer go into work, it was too painful.

“It is not right that I should be forced out of my job simply because I want to live as a woman and wear the clothes I was born to wear.

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