Maria Teresinha Gomes (died 2007) also known as la generala was a Portuguese woman notable for spending nearly 20 years successfully pretending to be a male army general.

Gomes was born on the Portuguese island of Madeira and ran away from home at the age of 16. Her parents gave her up for dead while Teresinha made her way to Lisbon.

Gomes' general's uniform was a costume made by a Lisbon tailor for the 1974 carnival. She used the name General Tito Anibal da Paixao Gomes.

Gomes was revealed to be biologically a woman in 1992. She had used her invented position of authority to persuade neighbours to hand over part of their savings for investment. High returns were promised, but never forthcoming.

The resulting trial also revealed that Teresinha had posed to others as a lawyer and an employee at the US embassy. Teresinha was eventually given a suspended three-year sentence. She retreated to a remote village where she died, too poor to pay for her own funeral, in 2007.

A nurse called Joaquina Costa became Gomes' companion, sharing a house with her for 15 years. At Gomes' trial, Costa claimed that they never shared a bedroom, and that she never suspected that Gomes may have been a woman.


Article - Portugal's cross-dressing 'general' dies after 20 years as a man Guardian (UK).

Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Maria Teresinha Gomes. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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