Gender row upset
May 22 2008 by Sam Casey, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A TRANSSEXUAL driving instructor was left devastated after a customer threatened to sue the all-female Huddersfield school where she works.
Emma Sherdley, of Holmfirth, has been an instructor with Laugh ‘n’ Pass – which advertises itself as employing only women tutors – for a year.
The 42-year-old used to be a married father-of-two called Andrew, but has a birth certificate and gender recognition certificate proving her legal status as a woman.
A Muslim customer in Sheffield threatened legal action after Miss Sherdley arrived to give his wife a lesson last month.
Miss Sherdley said: “When I heard, I was so shocked I started crying.
“I felt like giving up the whole job, but when I sat down and thought about it. I knew I had done nothing wrong. The law of the land says I’m female.”
The Sheffield couple cancelled the lesson shortly after Miss Sherdley arrived at their house.
Later that day Joanne Dixon, who owns the Blackthorn Drive driving school in Lindley, got a call from the man.
Mrs Dixon said: “He was laughing. He said he had asked for a female instructor.
“I said I had sent him a female instructor and he said: ‘No, you haven’t. Can you send me a proper female – one that was born a female.’
“I told him I could arrange another instructor if he wanted and the conversation ended amicably.
“The following week I got a call from another gentleman who said he wanted compensation and an apology or he would go to the newspapers and take legal action.
“He said I should have known it was for a Muslim woman. I asked him how I should have known and why that should make a difference.”
She said Emma had become a driving instructor so she could pay for the full gender-change operation.