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| Sex change Army hero Jan to become
Scotland's first 'transgender' police officer
Last updated at 11:14 PM on 02nd May 2009
Original article located at:
A paratrooper who underwent a sex-change operation has been accepted by the police as a trainee woman constable.
Jan Hamilton, formerly Captain Ian Hamilton, quit the Army in 2007 after 20 years’ decorated service and embarked on a full
gender reassignment programme.
Now living in Glasgow, she has been accepted by Strathclyde Police to begin two years’ probationary training, making her
Scotland’s first transgender police officer.
A source said that Miss Hamilton, 44, had ‘sailed through’ the initial six-month selection process: ‘Jan Hamilton scored highly in
the written tests and had no problem with the fitness tests.
'She completed the mile-and-a-half run in about 11 minutes, even though women are allowed to take up to 16.’
The source added that senior officers had given their full backing to her application.
Jan after her sex change
The fact that Miss Hamilton was born a man will have no bearing on the way that she
is expected to operate because she is legally recognised as a woman.
For example, she will only be able to search other women, in line with police
She will also wear the uniform of a Strathclyde Police woman constable, including the
reinforced bowler hat.
is understood that Miss Hamilton will be working in Maryhill, one of Glasgow’s
most dangerous areas
Over the next two years Miss Hamilton, who will earn the standard starting
salary of £21,000, will study and train at Strathclyde Police’s Training and
Recruitment Centre at Jackton, East Kilbride, and at the Scottish Police
College at Tulliallan, Fife, as well as working as a beat officer in Glasgow.
In 2007 Miss Hamilton, as Britain’s first transsexual paratrooper, took the
Army to an industrial tribunal on grounds of sex discrimination for its refusal to
acknowledge her legally enforced female status.
She won her case and later received a written apology. Since then she has
undergone a remarkable physical transformation.
As Captain Ian Hamilton she weighed 16 stone, boasted of having 14in
biceps and was deployed on long-term engagements with the elite Parachute
Regiment in Kenya, Oman, Kuwait, Cyprus, Germany and Bosnia.
As Jan Hamilton she still stands at a manly 6ft but says she is five stone
lighter, has a feminine figure thanks to hormone therapy, and says she is a
Miss Hamilton is not the first transgender police officer in the UK. In 2001
North Yorkshire Police said that, after 26 years in the force, Sergeant Chris
Lamb had decided to live as a woman and would henceforth be known as
Sergeant Nicola Lamb.
A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said: ‘We cannot confirm or deny any
information that constitutes personal information. The Force actively promotes
itself as an employer to all sections of the public.’
|Changing hats: Jan as Ian in Iraq and right, a Strathclyde WPC
EDITORIAL NOTE: TCOPS was contacted and informed that Jan Hamilton is NOT the first or
only transgendered officer in the Scottish Police Service and that she is in fact the seventh
such officer, though she was recruited whereas the others transitioned on the job.
As a child, Kerry Bell dreamed of growing up to become a policeman -- both a police
officer and a man.
Becoming a cop was relatively simple -- Bell joined the Bountiful Police Department 14
years ago. Becoming a man took more time.
Born female, Bell came out as transgender about a year and a half ago and started a
transition to a new life as a man. He always had felt male, but did not think switching
genders was a viable option until he saw transgender people gaining wider acceptance,
along with advances in medical technology.
Surprisingly, the 42-year-old -- working in what many perceive as a super-macho culture --
says he did not fret about telling the police chief or his co-workers to start referring to him
as "he," not "she."
"I wasn't worried about coming out at work," says Bell, who has had hormone treatments
and surgeries. "I've worked for Bountiful for 14 years. I know everybody I work with."
Although some employees have trouble remembering to use masculine pronouns,
Bountiful Police Chief Tom Ross says, "everyone's done a great job of accepting Kerry
and staying focused on why we're here in the first place."
Bell, a corporal and SWAT member, is a "well-rounded police officer," Ross adds. "We're
glad that he works here."
Some things about Bell's transition were easy. He did not have to wear different clothes to
work. Uniforms, he jokes, are exactly that --uniform. His first and last name also stayed the
same, although he dropped a middle name, Ann, and changed the gender marker on his
his father and their spouses were supportive.
"You have to accept your children for who they are," says his dad, Terry Bell, who lives in
Rockville near Zion National Park. "It's a little difficult for me, after 40 years, to think of my
daughter as a son. That's hard. [But] it hasn't changed a thing about how I feel about him
as a person."
Now, Kerry Bell works to increase understanding between his two worlds: law enforcement
and the lesbian,
The relationship between the two communities has had ups and downs. A police raid on a
New York gay bar erupted into the 1969 Stonewall riots, launching the modern gay-rights
wary of contacting the cops, Bell says. Some worry about whether they will be treated with
respect. Others, who are in the closet, fear being outed.
Bell belongs to the LGBT Public Safety Committee, an informal group with police
representatives from Weber County to West Valley City that has been working for nine
years to bridge the gap.
The committee members help gay and transgender people understand police procedures.
They coach police on how to respond to cases of same-sex domestic violence and gay
cruising in parks. In fact, they helped launch a successful Salt Lake City program that
steers those caught having sex in public places toward counseling, not jail. If the violators
do not repeat the offense for a year -- the vast majority don't -- the charges are dropped.
That many LGBT officers now serve openly at several Utah law-enforcement agencies
speaks volumes to how far society has progressed, says Salt Lake City Capt. Kyle Jones,
a founding member of the committee.
"Twenty years ago, they wouldn't have been [welcome]," says Jones, who was inspired to
get involved with the LGBT community after his son came out as gay. "The current crop of
officers, by and large, don't give it a second thought."
Jones, along with other committee members, recruits potential new officers at the annual
Utah Pride "Our our cops who are LGBT."
Bell hopes being out can help "demystify" what it means to be transgender.
As a Davis County kid, Bell says he always felt like a boy. It was something he didn't know
how to express to his family. At age 6, he gathered up all his dolls and gave them to a
neighbor. He hated going to church on Sunday because it meant he had to wear a dress.
"I thought God had just put me in the wrong body, and one day I'd wake up and I'd be the
way I was supposed to be," says Bell, a Salt Lake City resident. "Of course, you reach an
age where you realize that's not going to happen."
At 16, Bell told his parents he was attracted to women after they asked if he was gay. As a
lesbian, Bell found a home in the LGBT community. He also learned more about people
who are transgender. He looked into surgery at age 18 but decided the techniques were
More than 20 years later, he decided he was ready for the change.
"I'm a generally optimistic and happy person," he says. But "I've probably felt better in the
last year and a half than I have at any point in my life."
His other joyful moments are similar to those for most police officers: helping someone in
need, maybe even hearing a "thank you."
|Transgender officer living his dream -- as a cop and a man
Bountiful police 'We're glad he works here,' says chief.
By Rosemary Winters
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 11/30/2009 08:01:49 AM MST
|Kerry Bell is a transgender man and a Bountiful police... (Leah Hogsten / The Salt Lake Tribune)
Gender identity » One's internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman or in between. It is different from sexual orientation, which
pertains to whether a person is attracted to men, women or both sexes.
Transgender » An umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression differs from their birth
Transsexual » A person whose gender identity is other than his or her biological sex. Transsexuals may alter their bodies through
hormones or sex reassignment surgery to align their anatomy with their Transsexual » A person whose gender identity is other than his
or her biological sex. Transsexuals may self-perception.
Cross-dressing » To occasionally wear clothes traditionally associated with people of the other sex. Cross-dressers usually are
comfortable with their birth sex and do not wish to change it. "Cross-dresser" intends to do so in the future.
Gender queer » A person who rejects the traditional two-gender system. It is an evolving concept, but generally refers to those who do
not consider themselves solely masculine or feminine.
Transition » A complex, long-term process of altering one's birth sex. It can include coming out, changing one's name and sex on legal
documents, hormone therapy and, possibly, surgical alteration of the chest and/or genitals. Not all transgender individuals wish to
transition to the other sex.
Source: The Utah Pride Center and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
for 14 years.
Education » Graduated from
Clearfield High and the Utah Law
Enforcement Academy at Weber State
Hometown » Bell grew up in West
Point but now lives in Salt Lake City.
More on the Web
For more information about Utah's
LGBT Public Safety Committee, go to
It Gets Better
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) along with Mayor Ed Lee is proud to announce the debut of
the "SFPD It Gets Better" video project as part of the nationwide campaign to end bullying of LGBT youth.
The video provides a message of transformation, hope and encouragement to LGBT yo...uth that it does get
better. The SFPD is the first and only Police Department in the country to produce a video for the campaign.
"It Gets Better" is a nationwide project, that offers support and encouragement to youth who are struggling
with their sexual identity or bullied for being "different." These messages of hope let young people know that
they are not alone and that help is available.
The making of this video was a concerted effort by numerous members of the SFPD with the assistance of
San Francisco film maker Shawn Northcutt who produced and edited the video along with San Francisco
local musician Lynden Bair who developed the musical score.
"Today our Police Department joins the nationwide campaign to end bullying of LGBT youth by producing a
heartfelt video that provides a message of hope and encouragement that it will get better," said Mayor Ed
Lee. "San Francisco is a city that prides itself on embracing equality for all and this video is another great
example of our commitment to reinforcing our City's values."
Chief Greg Suhr wants youth to know that it really does get better. "This is a first of its kind video for the
SFPD and for any law enforcement agency in the United States. I hope this message of encouragement will
give hope to anyone who might be bullied because of who they are. The members of the SFPD will continue
to work with all young people and reach out to the communities, as mentors and role models."
"Suicide is not the answer."
If you're considering suicide or need help, call the Trevor Project now.
( 866-488-7386 )
MI-GOAL was established in 2010 and is an affiliate chapter of LEGAL International. MI-GOAL exists to advocate for the equal treatment
of Michigan's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender law enforcement, public safety, corrections and criminal justice professionals, and
their non-gay allies.
Visit us at: www.mi-goal.com. E-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Write us at: MI-GOAL, P.O. Box 14069, Lansing, MI, 48901-4069.
R Cole Bouck, President
Michigan Gay Officers Action League (MI-GOAL)
321 N. Jenison Avenue
Lansing, MI 48915-1250
(517) 449-0534 (M)
We lost one of our long time members on July 16, 2015. No foul play is suspected and his end of
watch is due to a long term illness. He was a professional and honored officer, true and loyal friend
as well as a staunch T-COP. Please keep his family in your prayers...not all of them were supportive
of him or his gender transition but his parents and sister loved him dearly and they're hurting...as
are many of us.