As lesbian and gay servicemembers and military veterans are celebrating the repeal of the military’s anti-gay “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy — despite delays in implementing the repeal — transgender servicemembers and veterans once again find themselves left behind in the battle for equality.
Because repealing DADT did not end the ban on service by trans people.
“The military still puts trans people in the same medical category as pedophilia. They consider it [transgenderism] to be a medical disorder,” said Monica Helms, president and co-founder of Transgender American Veterans Association.
“Trans people still have to be deep in the closet. They can’t talk to anyone about their lives, or they risk being discharged and getting something other than an honorable discharge,” Helms added. “Because the kind of discharge you get can make a huge difference in what kind of benefits you can get.”