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.
Papertrails cover your butt, trust me
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.