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NZ transgender cop 'an ordinary woman'

Sun 22 Apr 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Three weeks ago, Constable Steve Lurajud, had gender-reassignment surgery in Phuket, Thailand, and will return to the Christchurch police next month as Constable Sarah Lurajud – New Zealand's first post-operative transgender cop. "Now Christchurch constable Sarah Lurajud I can go on and lead the life I was always meant to have," says Lurajud, 48, in the Sunday News today. "Now I'm just an ordinary middle-aged woman leading an ordinary middle-aged existence ... if anything I'm conservative." With a styled bob of brown hair, purple eyeliner, manicured pink nails, figure-hugging tight blue jeans and pointy black boots, Lurajud says she's now accepted as a woman wherever she goes. "When I go into town I'm accepted as a woman, when I go to work I'm accepted as a woman and when I'm at home I'm a woman," she said. Lurajud denied a formal request for an interview but then said ‘transitioning' on the job after 23 years on the force - including manning the very public booze bus - was not easy. "It took a lot of careful planning and the changes I made were subtle," the senior constable said. "I think I was just awkward in the beginning. I didn't know how to act and the wigs were a bit of a nightmare... you just have to learn as you go." Lurajud has slowly been changing her appearance since 2005. The transition was all the more radical as Steve Lurajud had a reputation as a "tough and in-your-face officer", said colleagues. "I was a real blokey-bloke. That's what trans-gender people tend to do. They chuck themselves into the manliest environment they can find because they don't want to face up to it," Lurajud said. "I would rather have died than face up to it but eventually it just wore me down."    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Sunday, 22nd April 2007 - 12:00pm

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