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03 November 2010

Christine Goodwin (1937 – 2014) bus driver.

Goodwin had dressed female since childhood. He married and fathered four children. He worked as a bus driver. He had aversion therapy in 1963, but later was accepted on the program for transsexuals at Charing Cross Hospital, London in 1985.

She started hormones, had vocal cord surgery, and started living full time as female. She had genital surgery paid by the National Health in 1990. However, like all transsexuals in the UK at that time, she was unable to marry as a woman, suffered embarrassment and harassment at new employment when her National Insurance Card and birth certificate revealed her previous gender, was unable to draw a pension at the female age of 60 and was obliged to continue National Insurance payment until age 65.

She sued the UK government, and then appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. At that time the only other European countries that did not recognize a sex change as legally valid were Andorra, Albania and Ireland. The European Court in 2002 ruled in her favour, overturning its previous rulings in the case of Mark Rees and Caroline Cossey, and awarded £14,685 costs and expenses.

This victory was a major push to the Government’s passing the Gender Recognition Act of 2004.

She died after a long illness at age 77.  

*Not the painter, Christina Goodwin.

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