Transsexual is the victim of violent assault in Leicester city centre bar
A transsexual was punched and knocked unconscious within moments of walking into a Leicester pub.
Giovanna Del Nord was punched in the head by a stranger, without warning, as she waited to be served in the Market Tavern, in Hotel Street, Leicester city centre.
The 46-year-old, who has lived in the city for less than two months, believes she was targeted because she is transsexual.
Born male in Stockholm, she is a year into a four-and-a-half year therapy which will result in a sex change.
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For the past two years, she has been "presenting" herself as a woman.
Speaking about the attack, she said: "I didn't speak to anyone or look at anyone.
"I went straight to the bar and before I'd even ordered a drink I saw a fist coming towards me.
"The next thing I knew I was waking up on the floor. It all happened so quickly that I did not get a chance to see the person who attacked me.
"I don't know how long I was out for, maybe a few minutes.
"I have a black eye and a scar on my nose, which I think will be there for life. I'm doing my best to conceal them with make-up.
"I've been presenting myself as a female more or less all the time for the past four years.
"I can't see any other reason why this person would attack me. I have been in Leicester such a short time I have no enemies.
"I have been in the bar before and there have been no problems. It's just that on this occasion somebody did not like the way I look.
"It's a great shame he should feel that way."
Dennis Bradley, project manager at Leicester Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Centre, in Wellington Street, in the city centre, said crimes against people because of their sexuality or "gender identity" were under-reported.
Mr Bradley said: "Progress has been made and things are getting better by the year.
"However, we still have some way to go before all people recognise that violence of this nature is unacceptable, full stop."
A Leicestershire Police spokeswoman said detectives were investigating the assault and that CCTV footage had been obtained from the pub.
Information can be passed to Leicestershire Police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers, which is anonymous, on 0800 555 111.
Leicestershire Police and other local organisations have created a website which contains details of how to report hate crimes against people because of their race, age, disability or sexual orientation.
For more, visit: