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Friday, December 17, 2004

Safe haven in city for transsexuals

Worcester Standard

A WORCESTER transsexual who has suffered verbal and physical abuse from city teenagers has spoken of her plans to open a new safe haven for the transgender community.

Stephanie Nickles has lived in Worcester as a transsexual for the past six years but now plans to open a specialised boutique in the city centre where transsexuals and transvestites can meet and dress up in a safe environment.

The 33-year old businesswoman believes the centre, which will be called Vista Rose Transformations, will offer overdue support for many like-minded men and women who have suffered hostility in the community.

"In the past I have been treated very badly, particularly by teenagers in the city who don't seem to like anything which appears not to be normal," she said.

"Most of the time the abuse has been verbal but I have also been violently attacked by groups of youths. On a couple of occasions the attacks have left me in hospital."

Miss Nickles has already set up a group called TransWorcester offering informal one-to-one support to transgender men and women and believes many have experienced worse treatment than herself.

"The transgender community come from all walks of life. Some may have families and if they were to be found out it could destroy their marriage," she said.

She said that Worcester remained a very conservative city and that at present the gay, lesbian and transgender community had to travel to Birmingham to find any night life or meeting places.

"If the city can keep opening new clubs and bars for straight men and women they should be nothing wrong with this venture," she said.

Miss Nickles said the centre would allow visitors the chance to browse and try on a vast range of garments including blouses and revealing underwear and experienced therapists would be on hand to offer a makeover.

She said that she hoped the venture would be up and running by March next year and is currently looking at potential sites in Lowesmoor and Foregate Street.

Ok, having lived in worcester all my life. I can safely say this is a GOOD idea. Worcester is rough, rural and more than a little backward.
There is very little in the way of gun and knife crimes here, which sounds like a good thing. Intill that is, you realise it's because the locals consider it 'gay' to use guns and knifes. There are at least two no-go areas in this city if your not 'local'.
I really hope she pulls this off, because she's about to make herself one hell of a target.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in worcester and think its a great city..
had a bit of bother for being part of the glbt community but nothing out of the ordinary and calling it rough and backward is ridiculous..sure there are some rough places but what cities don't have these?

8:03 pm  

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