UK: Family accused of forcing daughter out of company for being transgender

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A Lancashire transgender woman is suing her parents and brother claiming she was forced out of the family business due to her gender identity.

Gillian Simpson, 46, says her parents, Graeme and Glenys and her brother Gavin, never accepted her decision to become a woman and set out to exclude her from the family IT firm, Simtec Electronics, which operated from Mr and Mrs Simpson’s home in Tarleton, Lancashire.

But lawyers acting on behalf of the family – who strenuously deny the claims and are counter-suing Ms Simpson – insisted: “This is not a gender issue.”

Ms Simpson started gender confirmation treatment in 2009.

A close friend of Ms Simpson, who spoke to the Lancashire Evening Post after the hearing at Preston County Court, claimed: “She was not allowed to wear feminine clothes or make-up and was expected to continue living as a man, regardless of the transition procedures she had been through.”

In 2011, Ms Simpson was suffering extreme stress and was given a doctor’s note to take time away from work.

But the court heard when she returned to the business premises and gave the note to her brother – an employee of the firm – he screwed it up and threw it back at her, saying: “This is what I think of your sick note.”

The Lancashire Evening Post reports Mr Simpson said: “I was frustrated at fielding calls from customers.”

In 2012, Mr and Mrs Simpson banned their daughter from the property for six months after she had her ears pierced, Preston County Court was told.

Ms Simpson, who is listed as one of the company’s directors online, is now suing her family for £150,000 which she claims she lost out on after being unable to run the business when she was denied access to stock and equipment.

Her brother Gavin is counter-suing her for £19,000 of business expenses he claims were not reimbursed.

However, Ms Simpson claims she did not authorise the payments and added that some items, such as Christmas decorations and a set-top TV box, were for her brother’s personal use.

Ms Simpson’s father, Graeme, is suing his daughter for £99,000 in lost wages and her mother Glenys is claiming £66,000 of loans made to Simtec Electronics she claims have not been repaid.

Following a five-day hearing, Judge Philip Butler reserved judgment on the case and will make a ruling on 22 December.