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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 August, 2004, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Support groups back Nadia victory
Nadia Almada
Transsexual groups say Nadia was right to hide her identity
Nadia Almada's Big Brother victory has been hailed as an important step forward for the transsexual community.

UK support groups were delighted that the British public backed the 27-year-old throughout her 10-week stay in the house.

She received almost 3.9 million votes.

"I think it is marvellous that she won because transsexuals have difficulty being accepted in society as it is," says Lesley Trollip, secretary of the south and west Lancashire Health Education Aids and Liaison group (HEAL).

"It shows to the general public that transsexuals are not just men dressed as women. They are feminine and they are women.

"This victory is really good for the transsexual community. People that are considering having operations now realise that they can be accepted within society."

Acceptance

Janett Scott, president of transgendered support group, the Beaumont Society, also felt that Nadia's victory was very "positive".

I think Nadia did the right thing by not revealing her identity
Janett Scott

But she believes that the win could also go against transsexuals.

"On the one hand it is great that the public have voted for her and it shows some acceptance of the transsexual community, but on the other hand it also highlights transsexual groups and more abuse could be thrown our way as a result. Time will tell," she added.

Nadia kept the fact she was born a man from her fellow housemates and began the Channel 4 series as a 50-1 outsider.

But she endeared herself to the nation to win the 63,500 prize.

"I think Nadia did the right thing by not revealing her identity," Ms Scott said.

"It would have been very difficult for her if she had done so before she went into the house because people's preconceptions of Nadia could have affected their attitude towards her".

Ms Trollip also felt that Nadia was right to keep her identity to herself.

She added : "There were a few times when I think she wanted to tell the other housemates.

"But she said she wanted to be accepted as a woman not as a transsexual. She was and that was a really good thing."

Human rights

Nadia's victory comes as plans to allow transsexuals to marry look set to be enforced later this year.

The Gender Recognition Bill was announced in draft form in July 2003 following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in 2002 which said current UK law breached transsexuals' human rights.

Ms Scott has campaigned vigilantly for the Bill.

She said: "We believe this is a significant victory because we have been fighting for this for 30 years.

"I am really pleased that it has finally gone through Parliament and we are just waiting for it to come into force now".

The measures will also allow transsexuals to apply for substitute birth certificates showing their new genders.

"Winning this bill is very significant not just for marriage but also for gender because it allows transsexuals to apply for birth certificates showing their new genders, " Ms Trollip said.

"This has never been allowed before and I think it is a very good thing because it gives transsexuals the freedom to change their birth certificates from male to female."




SEE ALSO:
Nadia triumphs in Big Brother 5
07 Aug 04  |  Entertainment
Transsexuals set for new rights
28 Nov 03  |  Politics
Transsexual marriage not legal
10 Apr 03  |  Lincolnshire


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