Non-binary & transgender uniform

It is recognised that not all cadets and staff will fit into the gender binary of chapters 1, 2 and 3. Therefore, personnel should be treated with sensitivity according to their needs and allowed to vary their uniform. Where the identity of an individual aligns fully with the provisions of these chapters no further action is required. If the identity does not fully match these chapters then the guidance of the WWO is to be sought in the first instance. Authority for any deviations from the provisions of chapters 1, 2 and 3 is to be sought from the appropriate Regional Comdt or Wg Cdr CCF for CCF (RAF) sections noting the individuals’ right to anonymity in all applications Further guidance for supporting transgender and non-binary cadets and staff can be found in ACP20 PI104 Annex D, which is currently available as IBN 035-2020 pending formal update of APC20.
IBN 040 - 2020

Thoughts on this new guidance? Why do people need authority? Are there any circumstances when RC could deny? Sounds a bit silly to me.

I’m under the impression 1358C V4 will be gender neutral so this is probably a poorly worded ibn following current regs

Current deviations require RC approval. Cant imagine any RC denying any request though

Just a question… but when would an individual not wear either female or male uniform?

Are we seriously saying someone might want or need to wear male trousers with female blouse?

Or female skirt with male shirt?

Are these not just sizing and fit issues rather than identity issues?

Our uniform is pretty simple really, I’m not sure what parts could cause an issue.

Beret - unisex
Brassard - unisex
Tie - unisex
Shirt - one or other
Skirt or trouser - one or other
Jumper - unisex
Rank slides - unisex
Waterproof - unisex
Shoes - one or other
Underwear - we have never asked or stipulated before so we arent going to start now!

Can someone help me understand the potential issue please.

If anyone wants to wear female clothes fine.
Just wear a full set of female uniform.

If anyone wants to wear male clothes. Fine.
Just wear a full set of male uniform.

So long as the individual meets the dress reg for one or other then surely that is fine. We shouldn’t care which they wear, as long as it is worn correctly.

The MOD doesn’t have money for a 3rd set of uniform for non-binary.

If people are really that bothered. They can wear a coverall 24/7. That’s non binary…

And I dont care if they do, as long as they wear it according to the regs. So no trinkets, clean, pressed and smart.

Think it’s more if they are gender fluid and would want to be issued with male and female uniform items rather than mixing male and female items at the same time. Just my thoughts tho!

Maybe it’s a method of monitoring the number of non-binary personnel - but without having to have neccessary changes on SMS??? Currently there is no method (I’m aware of!) of recording it - and we do know how bean counters love their numbers!!! I’m confident we’re not talking about big numbers - but unless it’s monitored, we’d not know.

As such, the 6 RC’s have a little tally chart in their offices, ASPIRE logo in the corner, head counting the numbers involved…

Or maybe it’s just so that anybody challenging it for whatever purposes ends up in front of the RC who signed it off???

So this is a non problem really… just issue people the set of uniform they want. Simples.

God. Why is this sort of thing considered so ‘sensitive’ or ‘difficult’.

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I could see where there may be an issue with this - say a gent is transitioning, or identifies as a lady… They may want to wear female uniform, blouse and shoes, but may need the gents trouser for the fit…

I may be way off the mark here but I guess that is where you might end up with mix and match…

Which, on the rare occasion it may come up, should just be allowed.


But this occurs anyways, many female cadets prefer mens trousers as they fit more comfortably, especially on younger female cadets as slacks just don’t fit their body shape. Most girls wear male shirts, again due to body shape or all in all lack of availability, especially when it comes to working blue shirts I think I’ve only ever seen a handful of female ones, and most certainly not in my wing or region. Whether we want it to or not uniform mixing goes on and all that we should ask is the individual item adheres to the uniform standards, we wouldn’t ask a female cadet who’s been issued a male shirt to put pleats down the back even though females should have pleats because it doesn’t actually fit with the specific item of uniform that they have. We’re a cadet organisation not the actual military and we make do with what we get, it doesn’t matter what gender someone identifies as, they’re more than likely to end up with a mismatch of uniform anyways, just find the item of uniform that fits the person best, whether it be a male or female shirt, trousers or slacks for example. And when it comes to transgender cadets, offer them all the uniform in their size and get them to wear whatever makes them feel the most comfortable, it’s not difficult, and it doesn’t make a difference whether their choice in what they wear is mismatched in terms of female/male items of clothing, because it happens anyways whether a cadet is or isn’t trans.


I can’t imagine an RC saying no, or for that matter anyone at Sqn level ever considering to forward it up to the RC - much the same as CWOs wearing No1s who aren’t LLCs in duty - should go to RC but let’s be honest who has ever done that…I know I don’t on my Sqn…

Why does the RAF have outwardly different for men and women? Why do men and women have different hats? Shouldn’t all force move to a gender neutral uniform. Have the same uniform but just have a different cut for men and women. I am sure that the females among us would love to have pockets in their slacks

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This might all be academic if we move to a blue RAF PCS system. Then for cadets at least it would be the same uniform regardless.


The clothing isn’t the issue. It’s the ancillaries, different rules on hair, make up and jewellery.


Ban all jewelry except 1x plain wedding ring.
Ban all make up.


Everyone ground down equally then.


Some Police Forces have gone this route Lancashire for example.

What about engagement rings?
Left hand third finger only. Do away with cygnet rings, thumb rings etc.

Thought these were all out anyway?

I’d say this isn’t a realistic view of how to approach cadets and what they wear. If you think you’re going to stop them from being who they wish to be, which is their every right, by putting in such restrictions then you’ll be clear of a very sizeable portion of people.

Why should we ban these things when a place like cadets can be an escape for some people? There’s one thing being a uniformed organisation that is intended to all look the same, and then there is complete and utter dictatorship. You can constantly see members of the RAF wearing makeup and rings etc. Who are we to stop young people from doing the same if our parent service finds it acceptable?

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Don’t get me wrong, I am all for looking smart and I’m tune with the regs, but there should be wiggle room where we can appropriately place it for people who come to our youth organisation looking to be themselves.

We are supposed to be welcoming and inclusive of all people, which we mostly try to be. We don’t need to do things that stop people from being who they are though.