Always wanted to grow a beard, says Mumbai cop after genital reassignment
A year after policeman Lalit Salve underwent genital reassignment in Mumbai to acquire a new identity as a man, hormone therapy is helping him develop facial hair.
Doctors said that depending on the facial hair growth, they will advise Salve on whether he needs a facial hair transplant.
Salve, 31, a constable working in Beed, was born with partially-developed male genitals, and his parents, who were not aware of the condition, brought him up as a woman. Doctors said that two to three years prior to his surgery, Salve had been experiencing gender dysphoria (a condition where emotionally and psychologically, a person identifies with the opposite sex). A genetic test called karyotyping was carried out at St George’s Hospital, Fort, in 2017 and established the cop’s gender as male.
As his face sprouts the first signs of facial hair, Salve is ecstatic. “As I always wanted to be identified as a man, I fancied growing a beard and moustache. Now I am overwhelmed with the compliments I get on my facial hair growth,” he said.
Dr Rajat Kapoor, head of plastic surgery, St George’s Hospital, where Salve underwent the gender reassignment surgery in May 2018, said that the facial hair growth is due to hormone therapy and part of the gender reassignment process.
“The hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone assist in facial hair growth but due to their low levels, Salve’s hair growth was restricted. We started the hormone therapy, which will be useful for Salve to gain confidence as a man with the help of facial hair,” said Dr Kapoor.
After his decision to get gender reassignment surgery, Salve had approached the Bombay high court in November 2017, seeking a month’s leave for the procedure. A panel of doctors was formed at Sir JJ Hospital, Byculla, to evaluate the case. “Since the cop’s genitals looked like that of a female, the family may have gotten confused,” said a doctor who was a part of the panel.