A woman constable who underwent surgery to change her sex has been recognised by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) as male. The 29-year-old had married a woman colleague six years ago after undergoing an operation. He now has all visible features of a man – a moustache, a deep baritone and a muscular body. The woman had converted because gay marriages are not yet allowed in India. The identity of the man has been withheld in this story.

After multiple fitness and gender tests, CISF medical boards, Central Reserve Police Force and All India Institute of Medical Sciences had in February cleared him to be considered as a male officer of the force. The case had been going on for four years since there was no precedence of such an admission.

As per a report in the Hindustan Times, CISF DG OP Singh said that they have informed the Ministry for Home Affairs after the medical boards 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,” he said.

The male constable from Bihar had joined the force as a woman in 2008. Over the years, the constable had to undertake multiple tests and had to undergo tough physical regimes to convince the force that he can be included as a male officer.

The year-long sex-change operation that he had to undertake cost him about Rs10 lakh. He had to raise funds, take loans for the same. Apart from the surgery and the exercises, the hormonal injections that he had to take daily were also extremely painful.

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.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, he said: “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. 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.”

CISF is yet to decide what posting should he be given next. However, a CISF official said: “Since he has proved it during physical fitness exam, the medical board has cleared him as male constable.”