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Trans people 'may serve in combat'

Published 09/07/2015

Women are currently barred from serving in the infantry and in armoured units
Women are currently barred from serving in the infantry and in armoured units

Female transgender soldiers "might well be able" to serve on the front line, an Army chief has said.

The Armed Forces has not yet faced such a situation, Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory said, but added that it would make a "very interesting test case".

Women are currently barred from serving in the infantry and in armoured units, but combat roles could be opened up to females by next year after a Government-commissioned report recommended such a move.

The Chief of Defence Personnel, who admitted that there are still pockets of homophobia in the forces, said he wishes to make the organisation as inclusive as possible.

He told Pink News: "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."

He said there could be practical issues for female transgender soldiers in the infantry, explaining that accommodation may not be suitable, but added that the forces should not "directly exclude" transgender people.

The UK military has won several equality accolades in recent times, including last year being named the world's second most gay-friendly military in the world by a think-tank.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Defence won the most improved employer award in Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index.

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