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West Midlands Police Federation

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‘Coming out as trans was terrifying – but it was also a relief’

3 December 2020

West Midlands PC Skye Morden is determined to blaze a trail for other transgender police officers

Skye knew that though she was assigned male at birth and had lived as a man for many years, she was, in fact, female.

Skye (44) has been spat at, shoved and punched while employed in a frontline role. However, the biggest challenge she has ever faced was much harder than any of her colleagues could have realised.

She revealed: “I have always known I was transgender, even before I knew there was a word for it. But I kept it a secret for decades - I never knew how to come out to friends, family and colleagues.”

After joining West Midlands Police in 2001, Skye was one of the first officers in the Force to be trained with a X26 Taser, which led to a career on the frontline of policing, responding to violent incidents and training other officers to use the devices.

It was only after separating from her wife (for unrelated reasons) that she realised she had to address this part of her identity.

She joined police WhatsApp groups for LGBTQ members and was encouraged to write a blog for one about her experiences. This ultimately led to her officially coming out as transgender in 2018.

Skye, who is currently a Taser trainer at the Midlands Region Tactical Training centre in Albrighton, continued: “I was incredibly nervous. How do you say to male police colleagues that you’re trans to some of the most alpha guys around? Initially, I was terrified, but everyone has been so welcoming and inclusive so it’s been a huge relief and I feel like I can finally be me.”

Coming out as trans certainly wasn’t easy, and she had to deal with offensive and hateful comments on social media. Not surprisingly, it was the support of colleagues and the wider policing family which gave her the strength to deal with these transphobic comments.

She said: “Everyone I’ve met in person within policing has been wonderful and really supportive.”

Skye is now working to help other transgender officers feel comfortable and accepted at work. She is on the Force’s LGB&T committee and is working with the Federation on practical ways to help trans members.

Her message to those colleagues is simple: “You can be who you are, and colleagues and friends will be more supportive than you think.”

• Skye will be featured in the February edition of the national Federation magazine POLICE.