Court suspends Navy decision that declared a transgender candidate unfit for competition

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The 19th Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro determined that the Navy allows a transgender candidate to participate in the selection process to enter the officer training course. Although she passed in first place in the public contest, Sabrina, 33, who preferred not to have her surname disclosed, was considered unfit for the position in the health inspection phase. The justification presented was a deficiency in sex hormones.

In a decision handed down this Monday (4), the Justice accepted a request for suspension of the candidate’s disability. The sentence points out that the health inspection was based “on alleged non-existent health deficiency (secondary hypogonadism)” and summons the command of the 1st Naval District of Rio de Janeiro to comply with the decision.

Wanted, the command of the naval district did not manifest itself until the publication of the report.

As the candidate underwent a sex reassignment in 2016, she has been on hormone replacement since then. Sabrina claims that she performed all the tests requested, and explained to the medical board that she would not be able to present others, such as a transvaginal ultrasound or pregnancy test.

Instead, by order of the Board of Health of the Navy, he presented the reports of his sex reassignment surgery, psychological report and several hormonal tests to prove his hormone replacement with estrogen, with compensated rates and within normal standards.

“I did other tests requested by my endocrinologist, she even answered an extensive questionnaire attesting that my health is perfect and that there were no changes within the reference value, but the inspection board did not even comment on the doctor’s report”, he says. .

“Secondary hypogonadism is related to the pituitary gland, and Sabrina proved, through tests, that her pituitary gland is not altered,” says Bianca Figueira, the candidate’s lawyer and a retired Navy officer.

In the decision, federal judge Dimitri Vasconcelos Wanderley argues that transphobia is considered a crime of racism, provided for in articles 3 and 13 of Law No. 7,716/1989, with a prison sentence of between two and five years. “Any impediment to the candidate’s access to military service through a contest, which is based, implicitly or explicitly, on the fact that she is a transgender woman, constitutes the crime of racism.”

He also says that the Brazilian Navy still does not have a regulation adapted to the reality of the participation of trans men and women in its staff. “This late adaptation of the norms, even after the updating of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10), generates the conflict brought to the Judiciary.”

Previously, transsexuality was considered a mental disorder and the military could be retired (retired) from the role.

The decision also states that preventing the candidate from having access to a military public contest due to the continuous use of hormonal medication would be to veto access “for the simple fact that she exists as she feels, not hiding behind a character to have social acceptance. .”

“Sabrina doesn’t have any disease, she passed all the stages: objective, physical exam, she presented the graduation titles in administration, two postgraduate degrees, published article and proficiency in English. There is no reason for her not to take the position”, says her attorney.

The candidate says that, in total, she had four meetings with the health boards, which first resulted in inconclusive and, finally, health unfitness. “Unless the appointments were scheduled on different days, I saw the other candidates only on the first day. I was the only one in the waiting room. As I don’t have a health insurance plan, I spent R$3,000 on exams and appointments.”

For Sabrina, there was no isonomy in the procedure. “I wasn’t surprised, but disappointed. It was an extremely bureaucratic route and investments with preparatory course, document verification, swimming lessons, among others, for some health professionals with a pen to say you’re out”, he vents.

“The claim of incapacity makes no sense, even more so because my job will be administrative and a woman [cis] who enters menopause, for example, will no longer be fit? I knew the history of the Navy and I don’t know why you’re so afraid of trans people, I just want to work.”

The candidate says she is satisfied with the court decision and that, if necessary, she will file again with actions to guarantee her rights. For her, if the Court did not grant her request, a precedent would be set for the Navy to use the case to bar other trans people from entering the institution. “I won the first battle.”

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