Author Topic: Transgender in the CF (merged)  (Read 87917 times)

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Offline Cpl.Cassie

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Transgender in the CF (merged)
« on: September 17, 2008, 20:46:43 »
I have a few questions about transgendered people who are currently CF members.

1.Obviously there is a zero-tolerance harassment policy, but is life in your unit different or weird, or is it pretty much business as usual?

2.What health benefits am I entitled to? (ie, counseling, specialist services, prescriptions for hormones etc.)

3.What fitness standard am I held to after hormone treatments have begun? Legally until after the SRS (sexual reassignment surgery) I am still a male, however while taking hormones for a while, I would have about the same muscle strength as a female.

4.Is there any resources available for military members with gender dysphoria? support groups, forums, etc.


Thanks in advance for your help.

Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Re: Transgender in the CF.
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2008, 20:56:41 »
Good questions for your CFRC.
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Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Re: Transgender in the CF.
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2008, 21:18:25 »
The above poster is already serving and if anyone wishes to carry on this topic they can PM.
I hope all understand that there is no way on an anonymous message board this topic would stay "clean".
Thanks,
Bruce
IF YOU REALLY ENJOY THIS SITE AND WISH TO CONTINUE,THEN PLEASE WIGGLE UP TO THE BAR AND BUY A SUBSCRIPTION OR SOME SWAG FROM THE MILNET.CA STORE OR IF YOU WISH TO ADVERTISE PLEASE SEND MIKE SOME DETAILS.

Everybody has a game plan until they get punched in the mouth.

Offline AndrewCore

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Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 11:21:52 »
Hello all,
I hope this topic can be approached and discussed in a manner reflecting the views of equal opportunity and the zero-tolerance harassment that all members of the Canadian Forces work and fight to maintain.
I leave soon for training for the first time since starting testosterone therapy, in other words I am about to embark on my first training experience being addressed and viewed as male. My unit and chain of command has been incredibly helpful and understanding, but can share no personal experiences or advice from a similar situation. I was wondering if anyone on this forum has experienced training as transgendered or intersexed or anywhere else on the "my parts aren't exactly what/where they should be" spectrum, and if they could offer some advice about disclosing my status while on course and dealing with the binary atmosphere as a gender variant (or at least gender aware) person. My questions come from and center around masculine-identified spaces and experiences.
please send me a personal message to contact.

Offline combat_medic

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 16:10:13 »
AndrewCore: I think you might have a great deal of difficulty finding actual first hand experience about this topic, since the issue of integration of trans soldiers is somewhat new. Particularly finding FTM experience, as it's even less common. The few soldiers I have heard of who have transitioned while CF members were all MTF.

That being said, my recommendation would to be as honest and forthright with everyone as possible. On course, I would ask to speak to your staff as soon as possible and disclose everything, and ask them for the opportunity to address your course mates as a group. The great thing about being the one bringing this up is that you own the information. Far better than waiting for them to find out and whispering behind your back. Tell them about the hormone replacement, the legal transition, the surgical transition (if any), and what all of that means. Tell them you're open to any questions, and be really forthcoming with information.
"If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck." - Paracowboy

Offline Monsoon

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2009, 17:30:51 »
I tangentially knew a FTM trans-gendered person, but only knew that he was transgendered because I had previously met him when he was undergoing the transition prior to joining the forces. To my knowledge, he did not tell any of his peers on course about it (they certainly didn't mention anything), though I presume he clued-in his divisional staff - though perhaps that may not even be necessary if you don't have any special requirements.

One man's advice - if you don't plan on being seen in the buff, don't bother confusing your peers with something that they don't need to know and may not understand. Divisional supervisors are a different matter - your current employer may be able to give you guidance there.

Offline Piper

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2009, 17:56:15 »
Are you already a CF member going on a more advanced course, or are you headed into BMQ/BMOQ?

To be honest, it all depends on your situation 'down there'. If you're still lacking some plumbing then you MAY want to let your coursemates know as you will most likely end up nude in front of your coursemates at some point (if on basic trg).

If you're equipped like a guy, then I'd just keep it to yourself. No one really needs to know and if it won't affect your trg then few will even care.

Are you enrolled as a female or male? This will play a role as you will be assigned bedspaces, showers and such accordingly. If you were enrolled as a female and are still listed as a female, then thats where you will most likely be assigned (not 100% sure on CF policy towards to transgendered crowd).

Offline JesseD

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2009, 00:46:51 »
Hi Andrew! I am actually in almost the same situation. While the process is fairly clear-cut for RegForce members, it isn't so clear for reservists. Especially in terms of going on course, whereas your unit is aware and there is no issue, going on course means you'll be working with a whole different chain of command and group of people. And that could be great, or bad, depending on who you work with. That's partly why I opted not to go on course and find a Class B instead for the summer. You've got guts!

Like you said, everyone is extremely understanding, but aren't exactly sure of the policies/how to handle gender segregation. I'm starting to believe that the information just isn't out there, and the best way to learn is by talking to those who have been through it before you (that's the tricky part!). But I'm sure you're aware that what works for others might not work for your or your course situation. Throughout my coming out, I was lucky enough to meet a few others that were ahead of me in transition, but I still had to figure out most of it on my own. Luckily my unit was on board and very helpful (where they could be).

The bathroom/showers dilemna, that's a huge one (well just like anywhere else in society) but it is especially more of a problem on course. Really, how many jobs do you know of that require you to shower with your coworkers? Essentially, you have to figure out what works for you, what you're comfortable with, and what options are available to you. Hence why you need to notify your chain of command. In the past, I know they have allowed FtM's to use separate washrooms (Ie. go up the road where single stall showers are available) instead of forcing them to chose between one or the other. However, if you have to pick one, the choice is yours. Ever heard of the rule "when in doubt, use the women's washroom"? When in doubt about your safety, usually the women's washroom is the best bet. Yeah, that sucks, I'm not a big fan either, and it goes against everything you've been working towards, but you do what you have to do right? Another advantage of the women's washroom is that it is MUCH less crowded, and odds are it might be near-deserted in most cases. It would also be easier to explain the situation to a few women on your course, so that you can shower in peace, as opposed to outing yourself to 95% of your course (men).

As for bedspace assignments, I haven't encountered that problem yet, but I've given it a lot of thought. On exercises, everyone is thrown in the same tent/building, female or male. Wonderful isn't it? As for course where they strictly enforce male and female quarters, I would assume that they would try to put you in whatever quarters matches the legal gender identification on your course information. If...

a) You have an "M" on your liscence, then you shouldn't have issues, they'll throw you in with the other boys, and problem solved and smile!

b) You still have an "F" on your driver's license, then I'd suggest talking to whoever is in charge of assigning rooms, and see if you can be switched. It is a grey area, it all depends on who you talk to. As always, you might have to educate a few people on the situation to get your point across.

I've had many people ask me the same questions, I asked the questions, and I still don't have definite answers. Like I said, I am under the impression that since transitioning is such a grey area (with many, many shades of grey), that you need to find out what works for specific situations, and hopefully, that they would be willing to bend the rules of gender segregation. But that's just my impression, I guess we'll find out soon enough!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 01:10:37 by JesseD »

Offline Greymatters

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2009, 00:58:54 »
I would add that when you eventually start working with forces from other countries you be cautious in who you talk to and what you reveal.  Not all countries have such open minds on the subject of GLBT as our military does...


Offline JesseD

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2009, 01:14:52 »
I would add that when you eventually start working with forces from other countries you be cautious in who you talk to and what you reveal.  Not all countries have such open minds on the subject of GLBT as our military does...

True, but that's exactly the problem here. Sometimes, there is NO way to hide it.
Though, obviously none of us go around shouting it off rooftops, we do our best to keep it on the DL, and often, people won't know the difference. And I'm sure that the CF would brief you on that before you go overseas. I haven't yet heard of it happening, but I'm sure that again they would scramble to find a policy or make one.

Offline Greymatters

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2009, 01:16:32 »
And I'm sure that the CF would brief you on that before you go overseas.

Uh, brief on what specifically...?

Offline JesseD

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2009, 01:36:11 »
On the GLBTQ policies of the other countries you would be working with (considering the CF would be aware of the situation before sending you). 

Offline Greymatters

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2009, 11:33:59 »
Uh, no, that was never a standard briefing topic in the past - and its unlikely to be a current one either...


Offline ltmaverick25

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2009, 16:54:54 »
Greymatters is right.  This is an area that is breaking new ground.  The result is, there is not a policy, or procedure in place to account for everything.  Those of you groundbreakers will unfortunately end up dealing with some very akward and painful situations for you, and everyone else (takling about dealing with foreign forces here).  The reality is, some countries and cultures dont accept it, and are downright hostile towards it.  This will create problems.  My advice would be to keep that information confidential.  Foreign forces do not need to know, and not all of them could be trusted to deal with that information in a manner we deem appropriate.

Offline mariomike

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2009, 19:11:39 »
how many jobs do you know of that require you to shower with your coworkers?

When you are contaminated, you don't mind stripping in the middle of the street while a fireman hoses you down in public. You feel no shame, only relief, and it's a great cure for shyness!   


Offline Greymatters

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2009, 20:29:08 »
There are lots of barracks while on overseas postings where you may live in seperate rooms but share showering and washup facilities...

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2009, 23:32:20 »
I must admit that I have never had to consider this issue within a military context before but, as with anyone else going through training, my advice would be to be honest, keep a good sense of humour, work harder than you ever have before in your life and prove you're just as good a soldier as anyone else in the platoon.

Colour and gender issues tend to diappear when everyone's on day 6 of the FTX, covered in the same amount of mud and ****, and you still need a sentry posted at 0230 during a monsoon.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline JesseD

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2009, 18:39:39 »
There are lots of barracks while on overseas postings where you may live in seperate rooms but share showering and washup facilities...

And you know what? That's fine. If we decided to stay with the military, then we are willing to accept and deal with issues that come up, whatever they may be. If I were overseas, and I needed to shower with everyone else, fine, so be it, it's part of the job, and there's more important things to be dealing with than showers. But by the time I go overseas (which isn't soon), I will be fully transitioned, and it won't really be an issue then. That's what most people don't seem to be grasping out of this, things are mostly awkward during transition, it's temporary.

I think the original question was asked in that context: At the BEGINNING of transition, things are a little awkward, you don't fit in one box or the other, and you don't exactly know where to place yourself. That's at the beginning. 2 years down the road, you will fit somewhere, and you won't have to ask yourself where to go.

I don't think anyone here is whining, or looking for special treatment, or to avoid co-ed showers forever, we're not, trust me. Transition is an awkward phase and people are looking for advice on how to handle it now, at this moment.

Colour and gender issues tend to diappear when everyone's on day 6 of the FTX, covered in the same amount of mud and ****, and you still need a sentry posted at 0230 during a monsoon.

That's the attitude I usually get! Way to go.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 18:48:35 by JesseD »

Offline Greymatters

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2009, 23:03:38 »
But by the time I go overseas (which isn't soon), I will be fully transitioned, and it won't really be an issue then. That's what most people don't seem to be grasping out of this, things are mostly awkward during transition, it's temporary

Like you say, it will be a moot point by then...

Offline mellian

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2009, 16:05:24 »
Okay, so that answers some of my questions about trans people joining the military. Now I am curious if there has been any MtFs that tried joining and got enlisted. I know/heard of some (and met) that have transitioned while they are in CF, but not before hand.


Offline bradlupa

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2009, 09:58:23 »
avoiding co-ed showers not my forte but that is. 

I think by the sound of things you are willing to talk about FTM thing so just relax and take it with 1 day at a time. i know for sure that i would not hold anything against you, it was a lifestyle choice that you made and when the time comes i know that you are going to be trained to the same standard as everybody else. so in the heat it aint gonna make a difference to me on who has my back as long as it is somebody.

I believe that when god farts, a new stupid person is born

Offline mellian

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2009, 16:22:01 »
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.   
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 17:02:12 by mellian »

Offline brandon_

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2009, 16:46:12 »
where would they stay/ sleep/ shower?  with the males, or females?  not trying to be funny.  Legit question...

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2009, 16:53:53 »
Just being curious....why are you asking this question?

Offline mellian

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Re: Transgender/Intersex Super Thread
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2009, 17:00:55 »
where would they stay/ sleep/ shower?  with the males, or females?  not trying to be funny.  Legit question...


With those of their legal sex.

Just being curious....why are you asking this question?

For activist and personal curiousity and interest.