Author Topic: Transgender in the CF (merged)  (Read 89788 times)

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Offline brandon_

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2009, 17:06:47 »

With those of their legal sex.

but If they where transgender wouldn't they be both ?  or am i getting mixed up here?

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2009, 17:08:25 »
Legally, you can only be of 1 sex...
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Offline brandon_

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2009, 17:12:45 »
ah, i would just find that weierd, seeing a guy with breasts. The same would be said for girls living with a girl with a penis.... aha ???

Offline mellian

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2009, 17:13:01 »
but If they where transgender wouldn't they be both ?  or am i getting mixed up here?

The key word is 'legal sex', which can be different from biological sex or even physical sex. When a trans person gets a sex change or some other procedure depending on the province, they can then change the sex on the birth certificate, along with the other IDs. Legal sex has more wait legally than biological or physical sex.

Offline WR

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2009, 17:13:52 »
Since this forum is not affiliated to DND, why not form the question to the Minister of National Defence? You will get an official answer that you can use for whatever purpose you desire.

Offline PMedMoe

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2009, 17:15:36 »
I think brandon_  meant, where would they be put during transition.  Once transition is done, then yes, put them with the respective gender.  But in between would be......let's say......complicated.

Since this forum is not affiliated to DND, why not form the question to the Minister of National Defence?

Why?  People ask all kinds of questions here regarding CF Regs and we're usually able to answer them or point them to a source.

You will get an official answer that you can use for whatever purpose you desire.

Not sure what you're implying here.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 17:18:34 by PMedMoe »
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Offline mellian

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2009, 17:16:32 »
Since this forum is not affiliated to DND, why not form the question to the Minister of National Defence? You will get an official answer that you can use for whatever purpose you desire.

Like all other questions being asked on milnet?

Offline mellian

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2009, 17:19:44 »
I think brandon_  meant, where would they be put during transition.  Once transition is done, then yes, put them with the respective gender.  But in between would be......let's say......complicated.

As the practice has been for those who have transitioned within the CF. What about those who have no prior CF experience transitioning before joining? What is the specific policy in regards to that, as in what does the CF consider 'transition done'?


Offline PMedMoe

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2009, 17:24:09 »
As the practice has been for those who have transitioned within the CF. What about those who have no prior CF experience transitioning before joining? What is the specific policy in regards to that, as in what does the CF consider 'transition done'?

I knew what you were asking, just trying to clarify brandon_'s statement.  Not sure about the Regs on that.  I do know that prior to transition, they must live publicly for one year as the gender they will be and there's loads of medical appointments.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 17:31:38 by PMedMoe »
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2009, 17:27:40 »
To my knowledge, each case would be examined on its individual merits and unique circumstances.  I don't believe there is a current written policy on this, as there's not a great deal of expert knowledge available to develop and assess such policies.

The recruiters may be able to assist with this one, or may be able to provide a point of contact with more information.  but I suspect it would take considerable digging to discover how things would work in such a situation  - as it's unusual enough that there are few people with experience in handling such a file.
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Offline Occam

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2009, 17:30:03 »
As the policy (if there indeed is one) is not a DAOD, then I strongly suspect that it would be a medical policy rather than an administrative one. 

Offline armychick2009

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2009, 17:40:15 »
could you please clarify (since so many words are thrown around these days)....

Transgender isn't the same as hermaphrodite, right? I think that is where someone is confused (when they said, aren't they both?)...

Hermaphrodites are born with both organs (or, parts of them... male and female, as in the recent case of Semenya, a South African runner who thought she was a woman but actually had male organs internally).
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/semenya-has-no-womb-or-ovaries/comments-e6frexni-1225771672245

However, transgender is when the person has partaken in the actual process of changing from one gender to another. Right?  Man to woman, woman to man...


I'm not sure but I think what the person meant by getting clarification from the DND directly (and documentation) is that then you can use this to protect yourself during the process. What you do with that information, is up to you. However, I wouldn't go based on what people say here... this is hear-say as opposed to first-hand information. I don't think they meant it as a brush-off.

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Now, I think the questions they ask are legitimate. There are no gender-neutral bunks... it's men or women. And, while the CF may not object to you being in one or the other... some of the men/women there might have problems IF the gender assignment isn't complete. However, maybe it's just a matter of talking to the men/women of where you are going to and letting them know of the situation. I mean, if you're legally a woman but still have the man bit thing going on, it can be confusing. Perhaps the gov't is just suggesting have the assignment done before you join to help YOU avoid awkwardness as well. And... devil's advocate? I wonder if it has to do with the health-care cost because your healthcare becomes federal responsibility (not provincial) once you join. If you're "in transition", someone has to pay these bills. The alternative is waiting until you're in the forces (done your training, etc.) before transitioning. I know they've paid for those. It could just be the in-between-phase they're concerned about. I wouldn't call THIS discrimination because I can assure you, if there was something medically going on with me right now? They wouldn't accept me until I have the clean bill of health that I am good to go for training without any impairments. If you're in transition, are there surgeries to do? Would this happen during a training session? Would you miss out on a training that might only happen once a year because you are in recovery from surgery? Just sayin'!

Keep in mind, Canada has moved forth in strides with gays/transgender, etc... much more than the US... but many have never known someone who has done it. People are scared of things they haven't encountered before... (not scared of YOU, just scared of something different they haven't experienced before).

And to think, in the US they still have the "don't ask-don't tell" policy!! It's a new frontier for the Canadian Forces, etc. and it takes time to bring change, no matter what that change is.  I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that most soldiers wouldn't really care. If you can do your job, then it probably won't be a problem.


Maybe when you get something definitive from the DND, you can come back here and educate us on the current policies. And I'm certain I've read something here by someone in a similar situation.

Offline combat_medic

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2009, 17:49:53 »
Disclaimer: I am not aware of any policy, and this is supposition based on second hand knowledge of a similar situation, not in the CF.

During a gender transition, a person is legally one sex, and at some point in the transition, becomes another sex legally. Typically, a person will be expected to live as the new gender for a certain amount of time before gender reassignment can be performed, and the legal gender change will not take place until the gender reassignment surgery is complete (in most provinces; the laws vary). I assume that during the transition period, the individual undergoing the transition will have special accommodations made for them, as much as that is possible with military constraints (field work, etc.). After the legal transition, they will no doubt be accommodated as a member of the new gender.

As far as the legalities are concerned, likely the CF will adhere to the laws of the individual province in which the member resides regarding legal gender reassignment.

And yes, a hermaphrodite is someone who is born with ambiguous genitalia, and it pretty much never happens that they would have a fully functional set of both genitalia, and is more often that the genitalia is underdeveloped, and is often surgically corrected later in life, typically near puberty so that the person has the chance to identify as a particular gender (so as not to make the wrong choice for them when they're too young to understand, and the surgery is no longer reversible).

A transgender person is typically defined as a person whose gender identity does not match their genetic/assigned gender (the terminology changes a lot), and typically goes through the process of transitioning to their identified gender.
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Offline leroi

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2009, 18:34:20 »
I think this is a question that extends beyond the Canadian Forces to all of Canadian society and laws--which the CF reflects.

This is still a bit of a gray area with regard to the practical versus the theoretical in society. It is being "pioneered" (a term I borrow from Loachman from a different thread) as we speak. For example, the human rights of transgendered individuals may be enshrined and sanctified in official Human Rights doctrine in Canada but Canadian institutions are still struggling with how to practically implement the accommodation for those existing in the twilight zone between genders. Should Canadian institutions build a third restroom, for example, for those switching to a different gender? I don't think the numbers would merit adding on such an expense nor would the the temporary transitional nature of the gender transformation. Yet this is a question that's being asked in Canada now--regardless of whether it's being asked of the CF or a municipal government building in your favorite home town.

For the person who is in the process of switching from one gender identifier to the other and for the institution, it is the in-between 'process of becoming' that may prove difficult to accommodate--in the short term.

I seem to recall an excellent article posted to the British Military thread with regard to this topic and need to go do a search.

Offline mellian

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2009, 18:51:21 »
Sex change will only be covered if you come out and start transitioning within the CF. From what I can tell base on limited information, that will not be the case for those who came out and started transition before joining, or joining for just to get transition covered (which is totally a dumb idea).

That aside, for those who legally changed their sex without getting the full sex change (yet usually still involve some kind of medical procedure such as hysterectomy or orchiectomy) as it is optional in certain provinces along with achieving other provincial requirements, would they be accepted into the CF administratively or/and medically whether or not they started transitioning recently or years ago (which is becoming more and more of the latter). That is the scenario I am basing my question on.

Sex change right costs around 20 000 for male to females through the clinic in Montreal, and 3 to 4 times more so for female to males. May take six months to year or so to recover from surgery, a long with however it takes to get back in shape. This is assuming there is no complications from the surgery.

Transgender, as the umbrella definition that is commonly used, is all those who goes from one gender to the other, or somewhere in-between. Those who specifically seek to completely or mostly transition, and live as their gender identity, are Transsexuals. Appropriate term for Hermaphrodites are Intersex, which refers to those who have ambiguous biological sex physically and genetically (even if one does have mixture of both parts, their sex chromosomes can still be ambiguous like XXY, XYY, etc).

The thing with trans people is, not all of them are easily recognizable as such, hence one cannot be so sure if they have met a trans person or not, especially if they base their understanding of trans people on stereotypes.

A low ball estimate I have heard is there is around 30 trans individuals currently serving Canadian Forces, and more so among those who have served.

 
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 19:16:54 by mellian »

Offline MARS

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2009, 18:57:47 »
I speak from a Class A reserve point of view (not me, the members transitioning), but I also speak as someone who has first hand experience guiding one soldier and one sailor though this process.

Despite the fact that the CF has encountered this in years past and is dealing with multiple cases at present, there is no official policy that anyone has been able to articulate to me.  As someone said, they are currently examined individually, and perhaps since the numbers aren't that large and the process somewhat unique from person to person, maybe we don't need a policy - yet.

The CF won't change your gender on your ID card until a MO signs off on it.Although my local Base Surgeon seems to think he will be able to do it, I suspect it will need to go to DMedPol.  The MO won't sign off on it until the member's civilian doctor signs off on it.  Again, this member is undergoing the procedure through the civilian health care system, so really, the CF doesn't have to do much, except approve it. 

When the med folks have signed off, the sex is legally and officially changed in the eyes of the CF. 

Accommodations are made where possible during transition - this is done at a local level and does require compromise and understanding on the part of all concerned, including the individual.  In the navy, bunking is not really an issue because the sailor, if posted to a ship, will be landed as these transitions include temporary medical categories.  It is not overly difficult to accommodate someone ashore where private rooms at accommodations blocks and either private showers or designated shower times can be arranged.  You must hold briefings - harassment, etc., to reinforce existing policies.  It really doesn't matter what people's personal views and objections may be, they must and will continue to act and perform in a manner that reflects positively on the CF.  While the transition is taking place, the Ship's Company has a need to know about it.  If you are going to make a particular wash place out of bounds for certain times everyday, the Ship's Company needs to know why.  They need to know that Command is fully supportive of the situation and will take whatever steps are required to help effect the change and to provide a harassment and discrimination free environment.  There is more, but it is all administrative and not really germane to the questions being asked here.  PM me if anyone doesn't feel comfortable asking about these things in an open forum.
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2009, 19:10:07 »
I read somewhere that the CF has policy about transgender people in regards to those transitioning while in service and before joining the CF, yet the exact policy is not posted anywhere that I can find. It is supposedly a decision that was made in recent years at least, so I am wondering if anyone knows of it or have access to where that policy may be written? I know the jiff of it is the trans person must of already had SRS before being accepted, but exact wording can make a huge difference as to what that means, and the reasons behind it.

It is unlikely that you will find a (comprehensive/consolidated) policy document about the enrolment of transgendered persons into the CF - it just doesn't come up that often.  However that doesn't mean that the circumstances (particularly related medical issues) of the individual are not taken into account during the enrolment process.

A recent Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision concerned the refusal to enroll a transgendered person into the CF, however the reason for that refusal was not specifically the gender reassignment, but that the person did not meet the required medical category.  (It should be noted that there have been transgendered individuals who did meet the minimum medical category and have served)  In this case, the tribunal decison was in favour of the CF.

Unfortunately, the written decision is not yet translated available in English on the CHRT site, however, if you can struggle through it in French it makes interesting reading and provides an excellent narrative about the many steps that CF medical authorities can go through before making a final decision that a potential recruit's medical condition will preclude him/her from serving.

Montreuil vs Canadian Forces
http://chrt-tcdp.gc.ca/aspinc/search/vhtml-fra.asp?doid=983&lg=_f&isruling=0

Some reference is made (in the decision) to the non-existence of a CF policy regarding transgendered persons, however it concludes, despite the lack of a formal written policy, that the CF does not ignore the reality of transgendered individuals, nor does it discriminate against them in recruiting.
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Offline mellian

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #42 on: October 22, 2009, 19:20:56 »
I do not consider Michelle Montreuil a good example nor reflective of trans people as a whole, considering she is known to have initiated various lawsuits using the trans card and not the most agreeable person.


Offline gcclarke

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #43 on: October 22, 2009, 19:24:51 »
I do not consider Michelle Montreuil a good example nor reflective of trans people as a whole, considering she is known to have initiated various lawsuits using the trans card and not the most agreeable person.

Oh, I don't think anyone's trying to make the argument that she was an ideal candidate. It's just that her case provided a good example of how the CF, despite perhaps not having a comprehensive policy, does not discriminate against the Transgendered, and is quite willing and able to accommodate their needs. Or at least that we were able to convince the CHRT of that.
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Offline PMedMoe

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2009, 19:31:01 »
That aside, for those who legally changed their sex without getting the full sex change (yet usually still involve some kind of medical procedure such as hysterectomy or orchiectomy) as it is optional in certain provinces along with achieving other provincial requirements, would they be accepted into the CF administratively or/and medically whether or not they started transitioning recently or years ago (which is becoming more and more of the latter). That is the scenario I am basing my question on.

How an you legally change your sex after only having a hysterectomy?  By that definition, women who are barren, would be "transgendered".  I've had a hysterectomy and I am still 100% female.  The difficulty would be in the constantly having to provide separate accommodations, washrooms, etc.  Not to mention, what standard would they have to perform on the ExPres test?  I think (at least for the CF), it's either all nor nothing.
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Offline armychick2009

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2009, 19:40:16 »
I hope I didn't make it sound like you could "visibly" see or tell a transgendered person from a non-transgendered person :)

Where I am from (small northern ontario city, about 50 000 folk) I know of at least five transgendered people who are friends of mine. Some you can tell... some you can not. Some have hotter legs than I do which makes me slightly jealous but this jealousy would happen with or without their transgenderedness   ::)

I'm comfortable with it... and if I had someone in basic who was legally a woman but still hadn't gone through the surgery, I'd be comfortable having them in my sleeping/showering area.  Just sayin' :)

Offline leroi

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #46 on: October 22, 2009, 19:44:07 »

quoting mellian and bolded by me:

The thing with trans people is, not all of them are easily recognizable as such, hence one cannot be so sure if they have met a trans person or not, especially if they base their understanding of trans people on stereotypes.

A low ball estimate I have heard is there is around 30 trans individuals currently serving Canadian Forces, and more so among those who have served.

While it's true that "trans people may not be recognizable," I would think, if they were applying to the Canadian Forces, or in fact any employer, it would be in their best interest to immediately self-identify. It would be fool-hardy not to do so--regardless of where they were applying for a job.

Offline Yrys

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2009, 19:55:15 »
I don't see how it would be in their best interest
to do so with any employer.

There is many prejudice against transgender.
As there is against homosexuel or bisexual or ...

I wouldn't suggest full disclosure to all potential
employers!
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Offline mellian

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2009, 20:05:24 »
How an you legally change your sex after only having a hysterectomy?  By that definition, women who are barren, would be "transgendered".  I've had a hysterectomy and I am still 100% female.  The difficulty would be in the constantly having to provide separate accommodations, washrooms, etc.  Not to mention, what standard would they have to perform on the ExPres test?  I think (at least for the CF), it's either all nor nothing.

That is only if you applied to change the sex designation on your birth certificate, not an automatic determination. In Ontario for example, the requirement to change the sex designation on your birth certificate is having a 'transsexual surgery', which is presently understood as covering SRS, orchiectomy, hysterectomy, hormones replacement, and so on, as long at least two doctors signs off on it (one who did the surgery, and the other to confirm). From what I understand with Canadian Forces, you will be seen and treat as the sex shown on the birth certificate, unless otherwise stipulated if transitioning within the CF. So for the Expres, they would follow the standard relevant to their legal sex.

As for performance capabilities, that is just another kettle of fish, especially in regards to sports where in the end, more about how much testosterone you have in you than sex or gender. 
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 20:09:33 by mellian »

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2009, 20:13:16 »
I have a question. While I have no doubt in my mind that transgender surgery is necessary for the person involved and in the long run will make for a better serving member. My question is why will the CF pay to have this surgery done but not for Lasik or any other type of eye corrective surgery? Not having to wear glasses would make a soldier more effective in the field when it's raining or foggy and the the gasses don't get wet. Or fogged up in cold. I know at sea I've had to take my glasses off while on watch because it was either raining or foggy. It made me a less effective lookout. Also the money that would have been saved by not having to buy me glasses every couple of years or when I've lost them or had them broken.


 I have heard that the CF is considering paying for corrective surgery. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
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