The Australian Defence Force has accepted its first non-binary recruit
The Australian Defence Force Academy has recruited the country’s first openly non-binary cadet.
The recruit, who does not identify as male or female, has been moved from female housing to mixed housing, according to The Australian.
Instructors have been told not to use gendered terms for the cadet, but to use gender-neutral language instead.
Guidelines set up in 2013 have allowed the cadet to identify as ‘gender X’ instead of male or female.
“People who fall into this category may use a variety of terms to self-identify,” the guidelines state.
It goes on to say that “gender is part of a person’s personal and social identity. It refers to the way a person feels, presents and is recognised within the community.”
In 2013, the Sex Discrimination Act was amended to introduce new protections.
It now recognises that individuals may identify as a gender other than the sex they were assigned at birth.
Retired Major General Jim Molan, prior Chief of Operations in Iraq, told The Australian that “if any gender can do a job, they should be welcomed.”
“Society has made the choice that there are more than two sexes, not the military,” he said.
“It’s the military’s job to get on and do what society has decided.”
The ADF has currently funded more than a dozen medical transitions for defence personnel, to help them deal with gender dysphoria.
On the other hand, Bernard Gaynor, who was fired from the Army Reserves for criticising its gender and sexuality diversity policies, said the military was caught in a “bizarre politically correct nightmare”.
“Soldiers are facing friendly fire for using the wrong pronouns when they should instead be focused on defending our nation,” he added.
Mr Gaynor initially won an unfair dismissal case against the ADF in 2015, only to have it overturned by the full bench of the Federal Court.