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Transgender cops: the intersection of gender and sexuality expectations in police cultures: Book review

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 01:40 authored by Angela DwyerAngela Dwyer
Transgender Cops by Heather Panter elaborates issues that have generally been ignored by queer criminological and policing research: the organisational experiences of transgender police officers; the attitudes towards transgender officers reflected by their cisgender policing colleagues; and the problematic and supportive administrative issues that transgender officers are subject to. To examine these issues, Panter conducted interviews with police officers in England, Wales, and America. A central part of the argument that Panter champions is the inclusion of the experiences of transgender police officers within queer criminological thought and policing research and that these experiences need to be a concentrated area of research concern. Research focused on issues for LGBT communities tends to‘gloss over’the‘T’(meaning research focused on LGBT does not specifically elaborate the experiences of transgender people),‘excluded’(meaning the sample of transgender people was too small and therefore not capable of being analysed, and hence excluded from the results), or completely ignored as a minority group. Panter’s work astutely evidences how imperative it is to avoid homogenising across the LGBT acronym to the detriment of the specificity of experience with transgender police officers. While argument could be made that these officers may experience similar situations around coming out as lesbian or gay police officers, the significant physical and emotional harm that they experience most certainly set their experiences apart from lesbian or gay officers. The interviews with other cisgender police about their perceptions of transgender officers were noteworthy and highlight well the necessity for widespread cultural change and attitudinal reform. At a seemingly more progressive point in time where some police organisations have associations dedicated to transgender police members, the evidently transphobic attitudes of police interviewed by Panter in this research is remarkably disturbing.


Publication title

Police Practice and Research






School of Social Sciences



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Gender and sexualities; Law enforcement

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