He was offered a job as a New Orleans police officer. Then came queries about his gender.

Britton Hamilton stated that he was a transgender man and wanted to be a police officer in order to promote positive change.In June 2020, he applied for the New Orleans Police Department. After several tests and interviewing with panelists, he was offered a conditional job in December.Hamilton described it as a dream job. I want to be able help the community and to encourage people to see police officers differently from how they feel now.He had to pass a routine psychological and medical evaluation. During which, he stated that the psychologist asked questions about his transition.He received an email on Jan 26 from the police department, rescinding his conditional offer. It was based upon a psychological assessment of both his emotional and behavioral characteristics.Hamilton stated that it was disappointing because I had prepared myself emotionally and physically for the job. This is what I and my family need to be successful.Image by Britton Hamilton (Britton Hay)Hamilton filed a federal lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in May alleging discrimination in hiring. Chelsea Cusimano, Hamilton's attorney, stated that the EEOC had opened an investigation.In May, the New Orleans Police Department released a statement.According to the full statement, the decision not moving forward with the applicant was not based on discrimination against him as a member a protected group.The department declined to comment further.Hamilton's story is not unique, according to Julie Callahan. Julie Callahan was a former San Jose police officer and founder of Transgender Community of Police and Sheriffs. This peer support group provides peer support for trans officers. She said that trans people are subject to disproportionate employment discrimination, and that law enforcement, which she described a conservative field, is no exception.TCOPS is doing its part by offering policy templates and training to departments. This educational material will help to address biases that can lead to discrimination. It is extremely difficult for trans persons to prove that they have been discriminated against in the workplace. Many people can't afford legal action, even if they could.Continue the storyThe historically fraught relationship between law enforcement officers and the LGBTQ community is complicating matters. Many transgender officers are now under pressure from both sides because they have to deal with inequities within their own communities.Callahan stated that it is an ongoing problem that society must address regarding the discrimination faced by trans law enforcement officers when hiring. It's becoming more common to see transgender interaction policies being developed by agencies, but not for their employees. We find this absurd. Both are necessary, as you will have people from the local community working for your agency or trying to find jobs.This does not mean that you are entitled to equal protection under the law.Hamilton claimed that Hamilton was asked questions by the psychologist who conducted his evaluation, such as: "What were the names and addresses of the doctors that performed your surgery?" What does your family think about you being transgender. What does your wife think about you being transgenderHamilton stated that Hamilton felt it was strange because it didn't relate to police officers' duties. Hamilton's complaint names Hamilton as the psychologist. He has not responded to a request for comment.Hamilton was asked by the department for information regarding his employment history over the past 10 years as part of the standard procedure.According to Hamilton's EEOC complaint, Hamilton stated that the department requested documentation beyond the 10-year standard for his honorable discharge 12 years ago from the Army. This was due to Hamilton's medical issues. Hamilton provided a portion of his medical discharge records, signed by Hamilton, his commanding officer, and a doctor explaining why he was dismissed. According to Hamilton's complaint, the department requested Hamilton's complete Army medical records from the National Personnel Records Center. Hamilton provided the tracking number and also the documents due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.Hamilton's complaint states that the department reversed the conditional offer after it received additional documentation regarding Hamilton's honorable discharge.Hamilton stated that he reached out to his uncle, who is a Chicago police officer for over 30 years, after the department had withdrawn the offer.Hamilton recalls that Hamilton said the first thing he said was "That doesn't even sound right."Cusimano, after hearing Hamilton's story, said that the psychologist had asked him questions that were red flags.Cusimano stated that he doesn't understand how protected class members can be asked questions when they aren't asking the same questions to members of the straight community who are applying for the same positions. This is not equal protection under the law.She noted that Hamilton applied for this job only a few days following the Supreme Court's June 2020 ruling that LGBTQ persons are protected from discrimination in employment under federal law. She said that Hamilton's case is an evolution from the Supreme Court decision.What protections are there for the LGBTQ community now that they are a protected class? she asked. Should an employer have acted reasonably to understand that the protections apply to equal hiring and all other employment processes?The phone call did not comePatrick Callahan, Julie Callahan's husband, is a member TCOPS and a consultant in criminology for the federal government. He said that he had similar experiences to Hamiltons.He had a promising interview in 2006 with an agency outside Boston. Patrick Callahan recalls that the person he interviewed was delighted and promised to call him back on Monday.He said that the phone call did not come. So I called him Tuesday. He refused to take my call. I never got in touch with him again.He claimed that he learned from a friend that he was not hired by the department because he is transgender.He said that they had changed their minds after they saw the female names and did a background check. He was told by a friend that it was a joke in the department and that someone it wanted to work there.Officer Kathryn Winters is the LGBTQ liaison at San Francisco Police Department. She suspects that she was the victim in a similar case of anti-trans discrimination in employment, but she was not able to confirm it.She applied for the Denton Police Department in Texas in 2014 and passed its written exam.She said that I was in the top five for the written exam. Noting that scores are publicly posted, she added, "I think I scored in the top five." A couple of weeks later, I received a Denton Police Department letter stating that my military discharge, my DD 214 wasn't in the background packet. For that reason, I was disqualified from further consideration.She stated that she and her spouse double- and triple-checked the application packet to ensure it contained all required information, including the DD Form 214. Although she said that there is nothing to indicate she was rejected for being transgender, she believes that someone might have taken the form out of her packet and that that was why they stopped me from continuing my consideration.The Denton Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.Other high-profile cases have involved alleged discrimination against transgender people by law enforcement agencies. The Transgender Law Center represented Mia Macy, who sued the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 2012. She was offered a job as a Ballistics Technician, but she later revealed that she was transgender.It is possible that a clinician lacks the ability to do so.Julie Callahan stated that agencies are slowly changing their culture as more lawsuits accumulate and more people leave the workforce. TCOPS has witnessed more than 500 transitions in its history, she said. The trans officers have been the most prominent in the agencies' transitions over the past few years.However, support policies for applicants and current officers are not growing in equal numbers across the country. Julie Callahan stated that agencies in larger cities have a greater chance of having better policies. This could mean that applicants and officers from more conservative areas may not be able to access basic information about transgender people.It is not clear that there are any uniform standards for psychologists conducting psychological evaluations for law enforcement officers across the country. Ryan Roberts and Michael Roberts, co-owners Law Enforcement Psychological Services Inc. have evaluated many LGBTQ law enforcement candidates in San Francisco. According to them, the state's regulations and continuing education requirements for clinicians who perform evaluations are different. They said California is one of the most well-regulated.Michael Roberts, referring to American Psychological Association, said that police and public safety psychoanalysis is a part of a specialty practice. This is not something any clinician should do without specific training.Psychological assessments for law enforcement officers are subject to certain laws, like the Americans With Disabilities Act. Someone could get in trouble while evaluating the medical records of a trans candidate, for instance.People are often doing things incorrectly, so it is possible for them to be out there. They might be performing it without the proper training. Ryan Roberts stated that they might not have the skills to perform the specialty function.Michael Roberts says that a transgender applicant should not be disqualified for being diagnosed with gender dysphoria in the past. This diagnosis is often required to receive medical treatment.It is not enough to say that someone had attempted suicide five years before or that they were gender dysphoric. He said that they need to look deeper.He said that Hamilton's allegations make it sound like the psychologist did this.Julie Callahan stated that she has heard of trans law enforcement candidates disqualified for suicidal ideation in the past, something which 81 percent transgender adults reported experiencing according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey.Many therapists who evaluate law enforcement candidates don’t realize that once you have dealt with your gender issues, any suicidal thoughts will disappear, as you’ve removed the impetus for them, she stated.As transgender cops, we're in an untenable situationPatrick Callahan stated that another barrier to better policy for trans officers, and potential officers, is the wider conversation about criminal justice reform. This is happening alongside recent efforts ban law enforcement at Pride parades.Advocates for Trans people are pushing for reform and, in certain cases, replacing law enforcement agencies by social support services or other community-led violence prevention efforts.A 2011 National Center for Transgender Equality report found that nearly half of transgender people feel uncomfortable asking for help from police. 22 percent (more than one-fifth) of transgender people who have interacted with police report harassment by officers, while 6 percent reported being subject to bias-motivated assaults by police officers. These rates were higher among Black transgender individuals: 38% reported being subject to biased harassment and 15% reported bias-motivated assault.Patrick Callahan stated that most LGBTQ rights organizations see trans officers in the same way as other people and don't speak to them.He said that they automatically shut us out because we have crossed a boundary. We aren't trans enough. We're not LGBTQ-enough anymore, and we receive the same treatment from law enforcement personnel. We are currently in an untenable situation as transgender police officers. Anyone in the LGBTQ community that is law enforcement will tell you that we're in an untenable position. We're not being allowed to make any changes, even by those we most want to help.Image: Gay Pride Parade Archive (Bill Tompkins/Getty Images file).Things are moving slowly for Hamilton. Cusimano stated that it could take the Louisiana EEOC up to a whole year to complete their investigation. Hamilton stated that the experience has not affected his goals.He said that he still wants to work in law enforcement. I will admit that I was very disappointed in NOPD at the beginning. This is still a goal of mine.Follow NBC Out on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter