A top Brazilian police officer who 'exuded testosterone' has shocked colleagues by taking a long holiday, only to return to active duty as a woman. Thiago de Costa Teixeira, 33, served in an anti-drugs unit and is currently in charge of a division in the city of Goiana. He took a three-month holiday at the end of last year in order to get a sex change in Thailand, and will return to work as Laura next month.
Her 'bravery' has been hailed by superiors in the police force, and LGBT campaigners have said that it is a first for a Brazilian worker not to be forced out of their job after having a sex change.The police officer was previously married to a woman and has two young sons.Along with the sex change operation Miss Teixeira also had facial reconstruction surgery to create a softer female jawline and nose.
Miss Teixeira, who has applied to have a gender and first name changed legally, said: 'I’ve always wanted to be a woman. But I was too ashamed to admit it. Eventually I couldn’t hide who I was.'At first I was worried about how my police colleagues would react to the news but so far the reception has been great.
'I haven’t received a negative comment from any of the people I work with. In fact, everyone is treating me as if nothing has happened, she told Brazilian newspaper O Popular.
Brazil suffers from a high level of homophobic violence and abuse. According to government statistics complaints of violence against gay people more than doubled between 2012 and 2013.
Miss Teixeira has already indicated that he plans to ask for a transfer from his old job running the police station in Goiana to the police unit that specialises in tackling crime against females.
'I feel that as a woman now I can make a difference investigating and helping transgender victims in particular who suffer abuse and violence because of who they choose to be,' she said.