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Transgender Information

Advice provided is general in nature and does not consider your personal circumstances. You should consider the advice in the context of your personal circumstances, or seek professional advice before deciding on any course of action.

General

ONLINE TRAINING

We have online training available that goes into more detail about this topic. It's free to take, and if you register and complete all the assessments, you'll get a certificate of completion at the end. Visit our eLearning centre

Tips for managers and commanders

2016 02 10 Cate TheFeed2Defence Resources, Policy and Information

Please write to us via our contacts page to contact the DEFGLIS Transgender Advisers, who are transgender Officers that currently serving in the Defence Force. You can choose the options of communication via personal or Defence e-mail options to contact the Transgender Adviser for questions. If you wish to remain anonymous, that's okay as well, we recommend you create a separate e-mail account for your communication with us. We will respect your privacy and keep any discussion that occurs in the strictest confidence.
 
Defence has produced a member's guide Member Guide - Transitioning Gender. The guide contains important information for personnel with gender dysphoria, or who are gender questioning. Information and general education for Commanders and Managers is also included. 
 
An administrative guide: Understanding Transitioning Gender in the Workplace produced by the Defence Centre of Diversity Expertise also provides information. This guide is available via the following link: http://www.defence.gov.au/fr/RR/

Joining Defence?

The Defence Health Directive on Gender Dysphoria for serving members is currently being progressed through the Health Policy Process. The initial entry standards in HLTHMAN Vol 1 are being progressed through that process concurrently to better reflect current clinical considerations.

In the meantime Defence Force Recruiting assesses each transgender applicant on a case-by-case basis to ensure consistency with inherent requirements of service and legislative requirements (including national anti-discrimination legislation).

Every person is comprehensively assessed to identify their likely medical needs and their impact that might affect their ability to perform requirements of service roles. 

You should also be aware that there can be times where your personal privacy is very limited, particularly during your initial training, on exercise or operations. 

If you think you are being unfairly treated, or unfairly discriminated against through the recruiting process, please contact us, so we can assist with having your case reviewed by appropriate staff in Defence Force Recruiting and Joint Health Command. We will do our best to facilitate fair treatment, but we are not able to advocate on your behalf.

Gender Questioning

It's completely okay to seek information, ask questions and conduct research if you think you might have Gender Dysphoria or if you think that your Gender Identity is different from your biology. There are links at the end of this document which provide the best information and resources available in Australia to help you out and support you. The remainder of this document is aimed at people who have been diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria.

Transition in Defence

Guidance for Transgender Personnel in Defence

We are not medical professionals and you should seek professional medical advice for your specific circumstances.

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Realisation

If you are transgender, you're different from many other people, but there is nothing wrong with being different and being yourself. Its completely okay to seek more information if you feel that you are a different gender than what is dictated by your body.

If you feel that you are living a lie, and you think that you are betraying your true gender, then you may have gender dysphoria. You may be experiencing troubling thoughts, or finding that your gender occupies a lot of your thoughts during the day. If this applies to you, we definitely encourage you to keep researching and finding out more. If you are ready, you can reach out to the support organisations below, or start seeking professional medical advice.

We recommend that you make an appointment to see a Doctor or Psychologist if you have questions about gender identity in first instance — don't just turn up to a sick parade.  If you are not satisfied with the answers you are given, don't stop and seek further support. There are a number of DEFGLIS members who have undergone transition, and may be able to offer you with insight into a problem you are experiencing.

Realignment is an option once there is a formal diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria.  

2016 02 10 Donna TheFeedRealignment

Realignment aims to bring into line different aspects of your body and your life. There are two distinct aspects associated with realignment or transition in a Defence environment that we explore with you in very general terms.  One relates to workplace realignment, and the other relates to medical alignment.

Realignment - Social  The first thing from a work perspective is to understand how to make this work in your employment. We recommend that you read the Member Guide for Transitioning Gender, which had strong input from transitioning members from the Australian Defence Force.

We think that simplicity, honesty and negotiation, is a good way to start. However, don't force your realignment on your workmates ... ask them for help, guidance and support. You can expect a range of different reactions from workmates.

If they don't know then seek help out from DEFGLIS, or develop a plan of action with your supervisor and work out how everyone in the workplace can play a part in your journey.  This can help to empower your superiors, and workmates and help to provide a sense of stability and control.

Realignment in the workplace is a crucial part of your social realignment.

Realignment - Medical. Internal medical treatment experience for Gender Dysphoria is developing in the Defence force, with the first people undergoing treatment in 2009. What this means is that you may encounter some problems getting access to the care you need.

Not everyone is trained or experienced in caring for gender dysphoria. DEFGLIS can help you get in touch with community resources to provide support and seek a second opinion if you aren't satisfied and still have concerns about your gender.

The transgender community can be so private that most won't know whether there is someone right around the corner from you that you can share mutual experiences with. You are not alone, DEFGLIS can help you network with other transgender members in Defence.  We have set up a private facebook group where you can connect directly other transgender members.

We will do everything we can to provide peer-support to you, and we will lean on community resources to provide you with what we can't.  So ask for help, look for guidance and above all, realise that you're not alone.

Resolution

After you transition and distress you feel about your body and gender role has been relieved to the point where you are confident in your correct gender, you should be able to resume your normal workplace functions without hinderance. 

In the resolution phase, you might expect that might be some ongoing medication requirements and an occasional followup with medical specialists, however, you should not need any more additional treatments, psychological or other support, than the rest of the population.

Your experience is important, and we encourage you to contribute your experience back to the community through DEFGLIS.

Transgender Health

Transgender Health Information

While some of the information above was developed by health professionals, as an organisation, we are not medical professionals and are unable to offer these services. You should seek professional medical advice for your specific circumstances. Defence members are encouraged to use Defence Health facilities or the community resources identified in the next tab.

This content is under development as we work with Defence to ensure that clinically indicated care is provided to transgender people in Defence.

Transgender Contacts and Resources

More Information and Community Resources

For more information or assistance, please visit:

The Gender Centre (Sydney)

The Gender Dysphoria Clinic (Monash Health - Melbourne)

A Gender Agenda (Canberra)

E-mail the DEFGLIS Transgender Adviser

Ask a question anonymously online