Woman Returns to Police force after undergoing sex change


A former police officer forced out of the job 27 years ago because he wanted a sex change is set to return to frontline duties as a woman.

Karen Gale, whose two-a-half-hour operation was controversially broadcast on television last year, has applied to be a special constable and return to the Metropolitan Police.

The 53-year-old, previously known as Keith, worked as a PC with the Met between 1981 and 1985 before being forced to resign when he told his inspector he wanted to start treatment for gender change.

Karen, from Purfleet, Essex, said: ‘Back then things were different. My inspector told me there was no way I could stay in the job.

‘I was absolutely gutted. I loved my job and I had spent two years passing all my exams to become a constable.’

But now Karen, who underwent the sex-change operation at Charing Cross Hospital in London in August 2011, is hopeful her application to become a special constable will be successful.

She said: ‘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.’

Karen, who found work as an HGV driver after being forced out of the police, said her life had been transformed since becoming a woman.

She said: ‘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.’

Karen, then Keith, first knew he was ‘different’ to 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 married 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.

Karen said: ?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.’

Today the Met would not discuss the case.

But told MailOnline: ‘The Metropolitan Police Service is an equal opportunities employer, regardless of a person’s age, race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability, sex or gender reassignment.

‘We are continually looking to improve and are seen as employers of choice for many under represented groups and we have robust policies around work life balance and diversity.’

Karen appeared on Channel 4 last year because she wanted her life-changing operation to ‘inspire’ other men with a desire to become a woman.

The series, called Girls Will Be Boys And Boys Will Be Girls, followed seven sex change patients aged between 22 and 55.

‘It has been a long journey since I began hormone replacement therapy and I hope my story will inspire others,’ she said.

‘They are going to show some parts of the operation after the watershed, some will be edited out.’

But campaign group Mediawatch warned that many viewers might find the footage upsetting.

Spokeswoman Vivienne Pattison said: ‘A lot of people will avoid watching this type of surgery and some of the scenes may not be appropriate for broadcasting.’



Source:?MARTIN ROBINSON?- mail online

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