Transgender Desecration of the Swiss Army?

For some people it’s an honour to serve in the military to protect their country. Some of these people are transgender individuals. Some of these individuals are being persecuted for being transgender. And some of them are actually being persecuted for serving in the military. As for most cases of persecution, this form of targeted discrimination is humiliating and detrimental to the health of those targeted. That’s why we’re having an eye on this issue. 

Switzerland, one of the smallest European countries and never a member of the NATO due to so called ‘neutrality’, is apparently accepting overtly transgender individuals in the Swiss armed forces since about 2018. Before, overtly transsexual individuals and transvestites (as they were officially called in Switzerland under the rule of the ICD-10 until the end of 2021) weren’t allowed to join the army. The Swiss people is still taking baby steps in learning to accept transgender individuals as equal with equal rights and duties.

Remember, Switzerland introduced the women’s right to participate in votes and elections only in 1971 on the national level, as the last European nation and one of the last nations worldwide, while rape in marriage only became a criminal offence in 1992. That said, a certain patriarchal heritage of the Swiss culture cannot be denied. It’s what I’d call a rape culture. 

Culturally lagging behind most of its European neighbourhood, it’s not astonishing that certain parts of Swiss society still consider transgender individuals pathological, especially conservative and right-wing individuals, those from the back country and members of the police and the legal system, many of which in Switzerland still show authoritarian and patriarchal (and sometimes sadistic) personality traits.

Two cases have surfaced to the knowledge of this blog. Two Swiss transgender women ran into serious legal issues years after completion of their military service, persecuted virtually for having served despite being transgender (non-overtly during service). In both cases the trouble started during their transition. In both cases that trouble put severe psychological stress on the patients. And both reported that they were subjected to defamation aiming at pathologizing them. Thus none of them wanted to make their case public. Nevertheless these cases were at least partially public as set forth by the respective official police reports and the following law suits. Friends and family of those affected took notice too. 

Both cases apparently involved police and prosecutors of the Swiss canton of Zurich and the city of Zurich. 

All in all I’ve met only two Swiss transgender women who actually served in the Swiss military. These two. Both had completed the service before they started transitioning. Both, independently from each other, reported more or less the same story of being persecuted for having served in the army, because of being transgender. What’s wrong with them? That they’re trans, really? The question rather is, what’s wrong with Switzerland? 

I haven’t met any other Swiss transgender individual who serves or served in the Swiss army. Though I somehow feel the two who told me their story could well be the tip of an iceberg. In any case, we’ll keep you posted on one of these cases (the fresh case from 2021 affecting a former army reserve nursing and care specialist).

If you feel you have any information about discrimination, defamation or persecution of transgender individuals affecting their ability to serve in the military (currently only USA and Europe without Russia, Belarus and Ukraine) please drop a note to:[at] (please respect local laws on armed forces and espionage). You need to document everything. We’ll be pleased to uncover unfair competition.