An Army chief has made what I think is reasonable to call a rather unexpected statement, in saying that female transgender soliders “might well be able” to serve on the front line.
Apparently the Army has yet to be put in this particular situation, but Lt Gen Andrew Gregory said that it would make for a “very interesting test case.”
At the moment, women are not allowed to serve in the infantry or in armoured units, but that could all change next year after a Government commissioned report recommended the move.
According to comments from Chief of Defence Personnel, there are unfortunately still pockets of homophobia in the Army, but he wants to make it as inclusive as possible: “We do not yet have any female transgender people serving in the infantry. We haven’t had to address it because we haven’t had the issue come up. It would be a very interesting test case if it did come up. If somebody – birth gender male – who physically has all the physical strength and durability but had transitioned, they might well be able.”
However, there might be practical issues for any female transgender soldiers, such as accomodation according to a point made again by Lt Gen Andrew Gregory. However, he did go on to stress that the Army should not “directly exclude” transgender people.
So, essentially, if a transgender woman who still has “strength and durability” could be allowed to serve in the British Military. If cis women were also allowed to join the infantry and other units, then the issue of accomodation would be less prevalent. You could simply house the transgender women with them. It will be interesting to see what happens if this issue ever comes up, and it may the case that any transgender women previously interested did not apply for fear of rejection.