A TRANSSEXUAL, angry at an NHS advertising campaign that depicts a man wearing makeup, says her lifestyle has been exploited for the sake of a poster.

Lucy Smith thinks the NHS should have been more sensitive to the transsexual community in Warrington when it developed a poster warning women drinkers they could end up looking like men.

“It’s hard enough living in Warrington without this,” said Lucy, a pre-op male to female transsexual.

“People see the posters on the bus and it draws attention to me sat there. I walk down the street and everyone’s looking or shouting,” she said.

Transsexuality is recognised as a medical condition, and the NHS pays for transgender operations.

That NHS Warrington would put up the posters while knowing about the problems transsexuals face has upset Lucy and her friends in the transsexual community.

Not a day goes by without a violent incident or abusive comments towards Lucy, aged 23, and the posters have only brought transsexuality to the forefront of people’s minds, she said.

“They have these pictures that stand out a mile and people will see it and start pointing and making comments and laughing,” she said.

The posters were brought in as part of a hard-hitting campaign to lower excessive drinking levels in women.

Warrington is one of the worst towns in the country for the high level of women who drink too much, and research has shown that excessive drinking can introduce male characteristics to women.

The person on the poster is fictional, made up of different images that were merged together by an artist, a spokesman for NHS Warrington said.

NHS Warrington sent the poster to national equality and diversity groups and consulted with the national lead for the transgender community, the spokesman said.

The groups did not find any reason for NHS Warrington not to use the posters.

Similar campaigns used elsewhere in the country have been successful in reducing harmful drinking levels in women, the spokesman added.

Lucy has asked both NHS Warrington and Warrington Borough Transport to remove the posters, but was told the campaign had been effective and would not be removed.

Transsexual men and women want to establish a permanent role as a member of the opposite sex, and many have gender reassignment surgery to complete this. This transition can take years.