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Friday, 17 March, 2000, 14:09 GMT
Sex-change minister's discrimination victory
Church interior
The then Reverend Parry was dismissed by the church
A sex-change church minister has won the first round of her battle to sue for sex discrimination after trying to start a new career as a beautician.

The former Rev Bill Parry claims she was victimised by officials at Swansea College when she left the ordained ministry to start living life as a woman.

Rev Parry shaved off his beard and changed his name to Mrs Dian Parry before enrolling on a beauty therapy course.

But Mrs Parry, 60, was expelled from the course after complaining she was not supplied with suitable models to practice on.

Mrs Parry is due to undergo a sex change operation
Mrs Parry is due to undergo a sex change operation
Now she is seeking compensation for lost earnings after failing to pass the practical side of the NVQ beauty therapy course at Swansea College.

Rev Parry was a non-conformist minister at three churches near his home at Croes Erw, Port Talbot in south Wales, until two years ago.

Then he announced to his congregation that he intended to live life as a woman.

He was sacked by the church and decided on a career as a beauty therapist.

Enrolling at Swansea College, she used her new name telling education chiefs she was undergoing a sex change.

The college accepted her but hit problems finding models prepared to work with the transsexual student.

Mrs Parry claims she passed the theory side of the course but could not be assessed on her practical work because she was not given models.

Mrs Parry, who is due to have the sex-change operation this year, said after the hearing: "It was all part of a deliberate attempt to oust me from the course.

"I was continually discriminated against because I am a transsexual."

Full hearing

The tribunal in Cardiff ruled that her sex discrimination claim should go to a full hearing.

"I'm delighted that my case will be heard in full and in public," Mrs Parry said.

"I feel I have been treated unfairly and discriminated against because I am a transsexual.

"I'm still hoping to qualify as a beautician to help me live my life fully as a woman."

The college denies sexual discrimination and will prepare their defence for the case.

A full tribunal will be held later in the year.
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