IDF expanding measures to accept transgenders; cabinet member says top brass must have heatstroke

“If a man who has become a woman wishes to sleep in the women’s living quarters, she will be given a separate room,” says a senior officer. 

By World Israel News Staff 

The IDF says that there is a slow, but stable, increase in the number of Israeli soldiers who have changed their gender during or before their military service, reports Ynet.

There are “several dozen” members of the military who call themselves transgender, according to the report, including officers.

In May, the army confirmed that a directive had been issued to alter enlistment forms so that the spaces for a soldier’s parents will no longer read: Mother and Father, but instead – Parent 1 and Parent 2.

Now, the military is making clear that it is taking a series of measures to ensure that transgenders can feel comfortable in the IDF.

LGBT activists reportedly have been involved in waging a campaign for equal rights for transgenders in military service.

The steps that the IDF has taken include asking soldiers which gender they consider themselves to be and what is their new name.

“If a man who has become a woman wishes to sleep in the women’s living quarters, she will be given a separate room… to avoid awkwardness,” says a senior officer quoted by Ynet.

The report says that transgenders in the IDF include quality soldiers and the military does not wish to give up on their service.

“Many of the transgenders serve significant roles in the intelligence corps and also among the fighters,” says the senior officer.

The most senior transgender in the IDF is reportedly a captain.

The IDF does not subsidize sex-change operations but does distribute hormone pills, according to the report, which notes that, in any case, soldiers tend to prefer not to undergo the operation during their military service.

The senior officer says that the IDF fights against manifestations of homophobia in the military. Commanders are told to be on the lookout for signs of such behavior.

Meanwhile, cabinet minister Bezalel Smotrich (National Union) who has, in the past, spoken out against members of the LGBT community, has reacted to the IDF’s efforts to make these soldiers feel comfortable in the military by saying: “It seems to me that someone in the IDF brass has been hit with heatstroke.”