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Were transgender people banned in the UK military?

(15 Posts)
Teachingmymonster Tue 16-Feb-21 11:21:55

Really pleased to hear today that gay and lesbian people who were dismissed from the army due to their sexuality can reclaim their medals. From today's viewpoint it seems just shocking that it happened in the first place.

Was the ban based on sexuality, or were transgender people banned for being transgender? I would differentiate in this case from stopping a transwoman from being in a 'female' category (which I would not think of as a ban) and a dismissal for what they did 'out of work'.

My ear is alert for retrospectively adding the 'T' to something that at the time was only about LGB - like the Lesbian and Gay Switchboard being referred to a LGBT when talking about the time when it wasn't.

I have looked but I can't find anything definitive.

OP’s posts: |
ThatIsNotMyUsername Tue 16-Feb-21 15:26:41

Depends how you define trans though surely. I’m a bit school on terminology.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Tue 16-Feb-21 15:38:56

It would probably be impossible to pin down any numbers, due to the 'shameful' nature of it.

OhHolyJesus Tue 16-Feb-21 15:45:40

From front line service as I remember -

Miriam Ben-Shalom makes very good points about giving people who are supposed to be suicidal guns and I always thought the point about having access to daily medication (synthetic hormones) in war zones for unending periods of time sounded very reasonable.

https://www.partnersforethicalcare.com/post/a-former-drill-sergeant-s-response-to-president-biden-s-executive-order

I do think Trump took issue with the surgery on taxpayers dollar but I don't know how available that was or how likely but as it's expensive and would be available to those in a 'desk' job maybe it was seen as a way to get an expensive elective surgery done on insurance.

aweegc Tue 16-Feb-21 16:03:31

I've never heard of the U.K. situation, it's always the US one that is brought up. As we have the NHS, it's a different situation too. As said VIVE, I understood that trans people could indeed serve in the US military but they weren't allowed to have reassignment surgery while serving abd therefore paid for by the military. Which is not how it's been portrayed.

I wonder if Biden's got female relatives who have served. Somehow, I'd be surprised.

mootymoo Tue 16-Feb-21 16:05:57

There were far fewer "out" trans people at the time the ban was in place and until 25 years ago women were in separate services too. There's no ban on trans now but there's a long list of medications that are contrary to service, never checked the list specifically but dd had to be in perfect health to even get an interview

ThatIsNotMyUsername Tue 16-Feb-21 16:08:06

There just wasn’t as many full stop. And the umbrella has now widened to cover a hell of a lot of people.

mpsw Tue 16-Feb-21 16:09:30

Personnel have - in theory - been able to be openly transgender in the British military since 2000, but in the early 00s there were still cases where personnel were dismissed and lost at tribunal, and it was only in 2004 with GRA that the position was secured

Current policy JSP 889 refers: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/847173/JSP889.pdf

Ban on openly homosexual personnel also lifted in 2000

I'm trying to find when adultery ceased to be a disciplinary issue - I can't find a reference, but I have some recollection it was the 1980s (I know someone that happened to)

OhHolyJesus Tue 16-Feb-21 16:10:08

Oh sorry I misread the OP.

There are trans soldiers in the U.K. military services. See the story of Hannah Graf. Hannah has since left but upon asking the superior person Hannah was permitted to be in with the women 'overnight'. Hannah and Jake are both trans media darlings (and Mermaids patrons) and Hannah's story has been covered by Lorraine and also in the C4 documentary they made about having a baby Millie by surrogate mother Laura.

ThatIsNotMyUsername Tue 16-Feb-21 16:11:45

Bigamy’s definitely was in the 90s (but that’s another story for another day).

greeboclovis Tue 16-Feb-21 16:36:20

I don’t think they were ever banned as such. while I’m guessing you may have been disciplined if you frequently cross dressed, I certainly knew of several males in the 90s (including 1 who ended up at 2* level)who’d use any flimsy excuse to cross dress & it was a standard joke about Royal Marines. . In contrast if you were suspected as being gay in the 90s, you were treated horribly & thrown out immediately. I certainly know of a TS in the RAF as far back as 2004 - I guess major issue for TS is the medical implications of treatment- dilating a pseudo vagina for hours a day is not really conducive to going on military operations.

greeboclovis Tue 16-Feb-21 16:44:21

mpsw

Personnel have - in theory - been able to be openly transgender in the British military since 2000, but in the early 00s there were still cases where personnel were dismissed and lost at tribunal, and it was only in 2004 with GRA that the position was secured

Current policy JSP 889 refers: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/847173/JSP889.pdf

Ban on openly homosexual personnel also lifted in 2000

I'm trying to find when adultery ceased to be a disciplinary issue - I can't find a reference, but I have some recollection it was the 1980s (I know someone that happened to)

in the 1990s overnight postings for adulterywere common occurrences- someone I knew who had separated months previously from her husband got punished because her divorce hadn’t been finalised (her ex was a wife beater, but reported her out of spite). While adultery stopped being an automatic offence post 2000, you then could be charged with undermining morale/discipline & as recently as 2012, I saw a 24 hour posting for an affair.

mpsw Tue 16-Feb-21 18:11:22

I was thinking of when it ceased being an automatic disciplinary. And the person I knew in the 1980s had been required to leave (don't know what procedures used, or exactly when)

Agree that by 2012 affairs were only disciplinary matter only if it was considered militarily significant. (Not just affairs - any sexual relationships that could be prejudicial)

ThatIsNotMyUsername Tue 16-Feb-21 18:21:58

Being gay was a disciplinary offence (was this for women too - there were odd ideas about gay women back in the day?).

I suspect the number of transsexuals generally was pretty low as to be a non pc range on the forces, and the rest of the umbrella was ignored/humoured.

The meanings of words is why we get tangled and misrepresent history. Just ask Naomi Wolf 😈

ThatIsNotMyUsername Tue 16-Feb-21 18:22:44

Pc range? Eh - non event

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