Canada’s Military Updates Uniform For Transgender Soldiers

The Canadian military has decided to allow its transgendered members to wear the uniform of their target gender. In fact, Canada’s National Defence Department has been helping to fund the sex change operations of its service members since 1998. Meanwhile, here in the states, we can’t even get over whether or not a man who would willingly give his life to defend this country likes to kiss other guys.

But now, the policy change has been codified in Canada’s National Defence Manual. It’s a forward-thinking policy that makes sure the country’s military observes the psychological needs of the one or two people who undergo gender transition each year. A gay rights advocate told Canada’s National Post that the new policy will only do the country good.

Cherie MacLeod, executive director of PFLAG Canada, a sexual orientation-related support group, said she has helped a number of Forces members undergoing sex changes, surgery the military now funds.

“This is an important step towards recognizing a community that has always struggled for equal rights and basic human protection,” said Ms. MacLeod. “When government becomes more inclusive, over time, society will follow.”

That the opposition to the new rules is mostly over a matter of propriety (the uniform changes were announced in an email following hot on the tail of a critique claiming that the Defence Department was “giving short shrift to the grieving families of fallen soldiers,” and some felt that to announce the new rules so soon thereafter was a bad move internally) and resentment of “politically correct” policies signals to us that most people will come around to the policy. And even if they don’t, the fact that transgender members of the military can assume the clothing of who they really are speaks volumes about the way the country treats its citizens and their mental and physiological needs. Fashion doing good? You bet.

Dress rules established for transsexuals in military [The National Post]

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