The Canadian Forces has something the American military does not: a policy that allows transgender people to serve. In the U.S., Pentagon rules prohibit transgender members and if they’re discovered, the military can discharge them.
At a conference on Monday in Washington, D.C., Canada was held up as a model for the U.S. to follow, along with other countries that allow transgender members including Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden and New Zealand.
Canadian Lt.-Cmdr. Nicole Lassaline spoke on a panel about Canada’s policies, medical and otherwise, and best practices, and Cpl. Natalie Murray shared her personal experience as a transsexual woman who transitioned from male to female while in the air force.
“I love my job,” Murray said in an interview. But despite Canada’s more accommodating policy, it still hasn’t been a smooth ride for her over the past decade.