UK policeman set to return to active duty after gender change
London, September 1 (ANI): An Essex policeman, who was forced out of his job 27 years ago for wanting a sex change, is set to return to frontline duties as a woman.
Karen Gale, whose two and a half hour operation had been controversially broadcast on television last year, has applied to be a special constable and return to the Metropolitan Police.
The 53-year-old from Purfleet, Essex, previously known as Keith, worked as a Police Constable with the Met between 1981 and 1985 before being forced to resign, when he told his inspector that he wanted to start treatment for gender change.
"Back then things were different. My inspector told me there was no way I could stay in the job," the Daily Mail quoted Gale as saying.
"I was absolutely gutted. I loved my job and I had spent two years passing all my exams to become a constable," she said.
But now Gale, who underwent the sex-change operation at Charing Cross Hospital in London in August 2011, is hopeful that her application to become a special constable will be successful.
"I can't wait to get back on the street doing the job I love. It's been a long time and I know the force will have changed, but I'm looking forward to it.
"It's not like it was in the '80s anymore. The police are actively trying to recruit more transgender and openly gay officers," she said.
Gale, who found work as an HGV driver after being forced out of the police, said that her life had been transformed since becoming a woman.
"I'm the happiest I've ever been. It's difficult to explain - I just finally feel like me. I feel complete.
"It's such a relief that I no longer have to put on this act, pretending to be someone I'm not," she said.
Gale, then Keith, first knew that he was "different" from other boys, when aged nine, he used to lock himself in the bathroom and try on his sister's dresses.
His cross-dressing continued in secret even after he got married to his first-ever girlfriend, Meryl, at the age of 21, and fathered their daughter, Laura, now 27.
But then Meryl returned home unexpectedly one day and found Keith in full make-up, stockings, skirt and a top.
"I couldn't go on any longer living as a bloke and made the decision to start living openly as a woman. I lost everything - the job I loved, my wife, my daughter, my house. I haven't seen Laura now for 22 years - it breaks my heart.
"I managed to find her through Facebook back in March and we've exchanged a few messages.
"She doesn't know yet whether she wants to see me. She says she doesn't know whether she could cope with it. I'm just praying that she will come to terms with it," she said. (ANI)
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