The Taiwan Military Requires Men to Serve, Even If They Are Women

Taiwan requires men aged 19-37 to enlist in military service, which is why the National Conscription Agency asked a 27-year-old identified only as “Su” to come in for the pre-requisite medical exam. The only problem? Su had just had a sex-change operation and been issued a female ID card two months prior. Nevertheless, the military nurses asked her to strip down beside her fellow conscripts.

Su refused to do strip in public and asked for a private exam. But even after Su’s medical exam, the military doctors noted that her sex was “ambiguous,” suggested a second-round check-up, and told her they could not guarantee her an exemption.

The Taiwanese military exempts transgender citizens from service, but even the NCA said that their entry-level assistants had made “some mistakes” handling Su because similar cases rarely occur in the country.