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.”
Showing posts tagged trans*
Sometime over night we beat the 100 followers mark.
The tremendous amount of support we have seen lets us know that this is something that was needed and is important to the lgbtq community.
We are all working on getting you important information a.s.a.p but while we do that we want to hear from you! Share your experiences, submit your stories, ask us anything you want to know about DADT, our relationships, and other lgbtq topics.
Most of all, thank you for joining us in our effort to support lgbtq military relationships.
I guess it’s time to introduce myself. I’m Patrick, and not the Krusty Krab, and I’m in the United States Army. I have an amazing and extremely loving and supportive girlfriend/fiancee named Sam… she’s awesome, which is a huge understatement. I love her so much.
I’m not going to sugar coat anything, being in the military can have its strains on a relationship, especially one that falls under the LGBTQ category; there are so many more restrictions we have to worry about, all while trying not to get caught.
Most of my friends know I like women (and everyone who knows is awesome with it), but none of my comrades here know I’m trans*, except one. I came out to her during AIT, when I was under a lot of stress from the classwork, while on the verge of a breakdown. She was very open and accepting of this, and I consider her the best battle buddy any Soldier/Sailor/Marine/Airman could ask for. If I could trust anyone downrange, it’d be her.
However, I’m here to say that not every person in the military is or will be this accepting. I would advise anyone who is trans* and going into the service to not reveal this about themselves. Yes, I took a risk, but I had to tell someone. Trans* individuals currently do not have the right to serve. Someday, maybe. But not yet.
No one else knows, however. In the civilian world, I bind, but I can’t do that here. I do so much regarding PT and other physically demanding activities that it just wouldn’t be safe; in the sense of fear of it coming off and for my health… I wouldn’t want to get overheated on a run. While in garrison, I wear a sports bra, just like every other female bodied individual who serves. In Basic Combat Training, I was issued female underwear, which I wore without question, due to the fact we had frequent locker inspections, and I would be mortified if a drill sergeant ever knew. I wore men’s underwear before I left for the Army, and I have started wearing them again the past few months, I immediately started donning men’s underwear again once I got to AIT, where they didn’t care what you wore under your uniform. I’m currently stationed stateside at my first duty station, and they don’t care here either. I don’t bind, but I might start again, as I found a binder that works like a sports bra. I’m pretty small chested anyway, so no one would even notice.
I’m going to be blunt; if you feel like you need to express your identity somehow, do what you know you can get away with, which will depend on where you’re stationed.
But don’t get discouraged, I just remember the reason I joined and why I’m doing this, even if there is a law in place that currently prevents me from serving openly.
edit: I love this man.
Hello everyone, I’m Sam, my fiance is Patrick, he is trans*, and he is in the Army. We met on Tumblr after he had already enlisted, and started out as long distance friends who were madly in love. Shortly before he left for basic training he made me his girlfriend. This was everything I had ever wanted in the world, he is everything I have ever wanted in the world. I had never expected to be in a military relationship, especially a military relationship with a transman, so I was completely unprepared, and felt alone.
We made it through basic no problem, this was before the process of overturning DADT was put into motion. There was a lot of tension and fear around the language used in letters both in regards to gender and sexuality. Training (AIT) was stressful as well, adding room mates and skype into the mix, but we got into a routine and things got easier. During AIT, in the end of January, he proposed to me via skype and we have been engaged ever since. We started using male pronouns and his chosen name between us just recently. When he is home he presents as male, and if we run into someone in uniform…well things get uncomfortable and tense.
Now he is graduated from AIT. He was home for 8 days and he just left yesterday, I am not really ready to talk about that yet but I promise I will be shortly. At this very moment he is on his way to where he is stationed, where he will stay until some time in the spring or summer of 2012 when the D word may or may not happen. I believe I am farther along the military path than the other lovely admins, so I have a little more experience, and I would love to tell you all it is going to be okay, not only in relation to sexuality and gender issues in the military but when you are alone and sad that your partner always has to leave…well I know how that feels.
I would love to meet new people here and we can all support each other.