Monthly Archives: December 2014

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A unique conference around transgender military service

perspectives on transgender military service symposium

Me on the stage during the second panel during the conference. Photograph from the the Palm Center website

In late October 2014 I had the opportunity to go to the United States to participate in a conference called “Perspectives on International Transgender Military Service”. The Swedish Armed Forces were officially invited by the Palm Center to participate and a decision was made on by Director General and Deputy Head of Personell to send me and Helena Hoffman from our HR Centre to the conference. The decision of our participation came swiftly and to me it says something about the changed culture on the command level in the Swedish Armed Forces and their understanding of the importance of LGBT issues. In the center of the organizers were Mr Aaron Belkin who also was a key player in the work around abolishing the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell-act which made it possible for homosexuals and bisexuals to serve openly in the United States Armed Forces. This conference was part of a longer set of activities to provide academic insights into why it is time to abolish the ban on military service for transgender persons as well. Even during the preparations I was struck by the passion and professionalism in the way he and his team worked with the conference.

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