Transsexuals ‘medically unfit to join Berlin police’

A thorough medical check-up awaits anyone who applies to join Germany's police or fire service. But transsexual or intersexual applicants probably won't make the cut, it emerged on Friday.

Transsexuals 'medically unfit to join Berlin police'
Having genital surgery or hormone treatment means you can't pass the medical tests. Photo: DPA

Those who have undergone gender reassignment surgery will probably be rejected if they apply for Germany's police or fire service, says Berndt Krömer (Christian Democratic Union), a member of the Berlin city government responsible for security policy.

His statement came in answer to an enquiry by politician Tom Schreiber, Tagespiegel reported on Friday.

In the enquiry, city senator for the Social Democratic Party Schreiber asked: “Can applicants to the police and fire service be found unfit for service because they have previously undergone sex reassignment surgery?”

He cited “operatively removed testicles” as well as “breast implants or hormone treatment.”

Rejection for those reasons is a very real possibility, Krömer replied.

To be fit for duty, an applicant has to have “an intact andrological [male] or gynaecological [female] hormone system,” Krömer wrote.

He added that when considering fitness for duty, “potential secondary conditions or the need for further operations have to be taken into account” in post-operative transsexual or intersexual applicants.

Breast implants are a problem, he continued, as “these implants can cause a particular health hazard when it comes to falls, blows or other uses of force in the chest region.”

But the German Lesbian and Gay Federation (LSVD) has slammed Krömer's claims.

“The criteria used to determine fitness for duty by the police and fire service are discriminatory,” said Jörg Steinert, LSVD Berlin regional director, in a statement released on Friday.

“Instead of pathologising and excluding intersexual and transsexual people, fitness for duty should be decided on an individual basis,” he continued.

“To that effect, the Berlin Senate should look to improve its own recruitment process:”


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