According to a blog called just out the Canadian military has recently changed their policy concerning trans people. Under the new policy, transgender soldiers are instructed to wear the uniform of their “target gender” even if it doesn’t match up with their biological sex. Personnel are also instructed to give these trans soldiers privacy and respect for their decision by not asking questions about their sex change or not asking for a reason when a soldier changes his or her name on record.
However, the new policy doesn’t allow honors to be reassigned to new names even names adopted as a part of a gender transition. They back up the decision by saying, “there is no legal authority for rewriting history.”
It’s amazing that Canada has changed their policies on trans soldiers when the U.S is still arguing over whether gay soldiers can serve openly. Canada allowed for gays to serve openly and offered them protection from harassment and discrimination in 1992. Same-sex couples can get married in the military. They also receive the same benefits of heterosexual married couples in the military. The blog states, “Representatives and soldiers from the Canadian Forces are routinely seen at Canadian pride events, with a significant number of straight soldiers opting to participate in the events alongside their gay counterparts.” It also stated that the Forces have even paid for treatments for trans soldiers since 1998. Several soldiers have undergone these treatments while serving their country. “Even coming from such a good base of respecting the dignity of transgender soldiers, the Canadian Forces’ policy change has been praised as a critical move forward by Canadian LGBT advocates. Cherie Macleod, executive director of PFLAG Canada, stated in PinkNews, “This is an important step towards recognizing a community that has always struggled for equal rights and basic human protection. I went to their website and it says, “PFLAG Canada is Canada’s only national organization that helps all Canadians who are struggling with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. PFLAG Canada supports, educates and provides resources to parents, families, friends and colleagues with questions or concerns, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” Macleod also said, “When government becomes more inclusive, over time, society will follow.”
This is a great step in the right direction concerning trans rights. Hopefully Macleod is right and maybe our society will follow. Maybe soon America will catch on and be less discriminatory when it comes to LGBT issues. This is just one more country that is more liberal with LGBT rights, which is kind of embarrassing. In a country that prides itself on its freedoms and great human rights, why are we still behind? I wonder if certain people’s biases will ever diminish so we can give equal rights to everyone. Not only have gay people been able to serve in Canada’s military for 18 years, now they are allowing transgender soldiers to serve openly and they help them. I don’t even think the U.S. has even discussed trans soldiers.