India’s First Transgender Sailor Discharged From Service by Indian Navy

Indian Navy has discharged a transgender sailor who had undergone sex-change operation last year. In a press release yesterday, the Navy said, “The Indian Navy has discharged Manish Giri, a naval sailor, evoking the clause of ‘Service No Longer Required’ under the navy regulations.” It further added that by undergoing sex-change, the sailor had breached the Recruitment Regulations.

“The individual chose to undergo irreversible gender re-assignment on his own accord, whilst on leave wilfully altering his gender status from the one he was recruited for at the time of his induction. He has breached the Recruitment Regulations and eligibility criteria for his employment as a sailor in the Indian Navy. The existing service rules and regulations do not permit the sailor’s continued employment owing to his altered gender status, medical condition and resultant employability restrictions,” the press release said.

Gaylaxy had highlighted the story of the sailor, who goes by the name Sabi now, in August when news first came in that she might be discharged from service owing to her sex change. Sabi had served in the Navy as a sailor since 2010, and underwent the sex reassignment surgery (SRS) at a private hospital in Delhi in October 2016. However, when her seniors in the Vishakaptnam naval base got to know of her sex-change operation, she was confined to the psychiatric ward for over six months and made to undergo psychological evaluation. The Naval Headquarters recommended to the Ministry of Defence that she be discharged.

Sabi has said that she will now appeal against her discharge in the court.

Sukhdeep Singh