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09 May 2011

Belinda Joelle Smith (1949 – 1994) soldier, correctional officer.

William Smith served 14 years in the US army. Later he was a correctional officer in Jacksonville, Florida.

He was fired in 1985 for dressing female off the job, and discussing his proposed operation.

In 1991, Belinda, now post-operative, and with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union, sued the city but lost on the ground that, as a known transsexual, she would not be able to command the respect of co-workers and inmates.

However, on appeal the next year, the ruling went in her favor in that ‘transsexualism’ is a handicap under the Florida Human Rights Act. She was awarded reinstatement, back pay and legal costs.

She died in a freak boating accident off the Florida coast.

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