written by JaneS

Transgender people in the defence forces

A recent discussion with friends about ADF and police participation in the Sydney Gay Mardis Gras got me thinking about how many members in the transgender community might have previously served or could still be serving in either our Defence Forces or police services.

Im my case I started cross dressing well before I first joined the military in 1972. Since then I've spent 40 years in government service, both in uniformed and plain clothes environments. Being a CD in those environments was challenging and terrifying, especially as discovery would likely have meant instant dismissal in most cases.

I know of at least one other TgR member who has military service to her credit. I also know of two people who have transitioned whilst in Defence service, one being a friend who helped me in my first tentative steps out of the closet.

I would dearly love, one day, to attend an ANZAC Day or Remembrance Day service as Jane, proudly displaying the indications of my service. It would be a display of the freedom I championed with my service.

I wonder how many others out there have 'done their time'? Perhaps it's another way to be out and proud.

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