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Sunday, 14 October, 2001, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
Sex change minister in cheque row
Dian Parry
Dian Parry was refused an outfit with a cheque in Welsh
A former church minister who has undergone a sex change was refused an outfit in a women's fashion store because she wrote out her cheque in Welsh.

Dian Parry, who was formerly known as Reverend Bill Parry to his chapel congregation in a village in the south Wales Valleys, was furious when the shop refused to accept her payment.

The company has since apologised to her for the snub.


They told me Select was an English company in Wales and it was not their policy to take Welsh-only cheques.

Dian Parry
Ms Parry, 62, from Croeserw, near Maesteg, was buying a 69 trouser suit at a shop in Bridgend, when she made the cheque out in her native language.

But staff at the boutique refused to accept the payment, saying they could not work out what it said.

Earlier this year Ms Parry underwent an operation to complete her transformation after nearly 60 years as a man.

Ms Parry, who has two children with her wife Anita, shocked parishioners in her home village in three years ago when as Reverend Bill Parry he announced he wanted to become a woman.

She had been shopping for new clothes to replace the former clerical collar and minister's gowns.

"I chose a very nice suit and went to pay for it by cheque, " she said.

"They told me Select was an English company in Wales and it was not their policy to take Welsh-only cheques.

"I told them I was a published author of several books in Welsh and I had never had any problems like this before.

Phone call

"When I asked why the shop did not employ a Welsh speaker they said it had proved impossible to find one.

"So I told them I don't have a job anymore - and I'd take there work."

She later complained to Select's head office in Hertfordshire, and received a personal phone call of apology from the firm's managing director.


We will be happy to accept as many cheques as this customer wishes to write

Select spokeswoman Janet Donaghy
Company spokeswoman Janet Donaghay said the cheque controversy had been a "misunderstanding".

"We will be happy to accept as many cheques as this customer wishes to write," she said.

"If a vacancy arises in the shop, she is welcome to apply."

A year ago Ms Parry, a frequent guest on UK television chat shows, revealed she had turned down the chance of becoming a trans-Atlantic celebrity with a regular slot on the Jerry Springer show.

She also won a fight to join the Welsh-language equivalent of the Women's Institute - Merched y Wawr.

She has set up her own website to help Christians experiencing a gender crisis.

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