CISF jawan changes sex for love, recognised as male constable after 6 years
“Had same-sex marriage been allowed in India, I would have not undergone sex-change,” the 29-year-old CISF jawan said
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has officially recognised as male a woman constable who underwent surgery to change her sex and beat laws that don’t allow gay marriages in India.
Ignoring the taunts of fellow workers, the 29-year-old married a woman colleague after the operation six year ago that has left him with all the visible features of a man – a muscular body, a moustache and a deep baritone.
In February, three medical boards of the CISF, Central Reserve Police Force and All India Institute of Medical Sciences cleared him as a male officer after four years of bureaucratic vacillation in absence of a precedence and multiple fitness and gender tests. HT is not revealing the identity of the man to protect his privacy.
“We have intimated Ministry for Home Affairs after medical boards set up by us declared the constable a male. The issue was pending for four years but we have taken a decision now. In our record he is now a male constable,” OP Singh, CISF DG, said.
But it was not an easy victory for the male constable who hails from Bihar and joined the force as a woman in 2008.
To convince the bosses of his masculinity, the constable endured multiple medical tests and tough physical exercises that are reserved for male staff. Raising funds for surgery and the painful hormonal injections he took daily was another challenge. He took out a loan for the year-long sex-change operation that cost him about Rs10 lakh.
All this to beat India’s British-era laws that make gay sex and marriage a crime. The laws, which are now being challenged in Supreme Court, don’t address sex-change.
“Had same-sex marriage been allowed in India I would have not undergone sex-change. I knew society will make fun of me but I was ready to face the challenge,” he told Hindustan Times.
“Since my childhood I always treated myself as a boy and had decided not to marry ever because in that case I would have to marry a man. But I got selected in CISF and decided that I will never go back to my hometown as people would force me to marry.”
At work, he was treated just as another woman constable, giving rise to piquant situations.
“I was posted for frisking duty of female passengers in Delhi metro. I was hesitant and told my seniors I should not be doing this as I consider myself a male,” he said. But his women colleagues did not consider him a woman and complained against sharing their barracks with him.
“In May 2012 my operation was completed, and I applied in the force for gender change. Though no decision was made I got married in 2013. Some colleague teased me and called me by my earlier name but I ignored them,” he added.
CISF officials now have a challenge in deciding the man’s next posting, including whether he could be given the work of frisking male passengers.
“It was a unique case but we have taken a stand. It was important for us to ensure that he has all the criteria required for a male constable,” said a CISF official.
“Since he has proved it during physical fitness exam, the medical board has cleared him as male constable.”