Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-05-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

DADT dead but ban on transgender service remains
News update posted Sept. 20, 2011
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2011-09-21

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


The repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ) may be a win for gay and lesbian service members, but for some in the LGBT community, the celebration is bittersweet.

Despite the repeal, transgender people will not be allowed to serve openly. That is because military medical rules deem transgender people unfit to serve.

"This is a non-event for the trans community," said June LaTrobe, a U.S. Air Force veteran who lives in Chicago. " [ The repeal ] is great. It's wonderful… but there is no direct benefit to individuals who are comfortable identifying as transgender."

While a handful of transgender people have been dismissed under DADT in the past, experts say those decisions had more to do with a lack of understanding about what transgender is, rather than the driving policy. Most transgender people are dismissed for a myriad of other reasons. "It's disallowed in so many ways," said Mara Keisling, executive director at that National Center for Transgender Equality ( NCTE ) . "There's a zillion ways that they don't want us in."

A diagnosis of "gender identity disorder" can constitute grounds for medical and mental health dismissal. According to a news statement from NCTE, cross-dressing, taking hormones or accessing medical and mental health care outside of the military can also lead to military discharge. Consequently, transgender service members are not allowed to express gender-variance and cannot come out. Even communication with transgender groups and people can draw suspicion, say activists.

As DADT makes its exit, transgender veterans— many of whom have been active in their local LGBT veteran chapters—say they have mixed feelings about the success.

"We were totally supportive of the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" said Monica Helms, president of the Transgender American Veterans Association. "We want to make sure that people know, hey, we're still discriminated against." Gender-variance in U.S. military has been documented since the revolutionary war, as many female-born people dressed as men and marched off to fight.

According to transgender activist and historian Leslie Feinberg, 400 civil war soldiers were also found to have been born female. Among them was Albert Cashier, who fought with the Illinois 95th Division at the battle of Vicksburg and lived his life as male until he died in 1915. Other U.S. soldiers who had been born female lived after wartime as men. Transgender historians believe many of those soldiers who crossdressed to enlist were actually transgender.

Estimates on how many transgender people are currently serving are hard to come by. Activists believe many transgender people remain in hiding in the service, while a number have also been dismissed.

"We've had communications with people that are serving, some even in warzone," said Helms. "So we know that they're there. It's just the brave few that reach out."

Helms believes the service attracts many female- born transgender people because the service is one place where female-born people can express masculinity safely.

Many transgender people enter also the service before they know they are transgender. If they do become gender-aware in the service, they face obstacles in not only coming out, but working through gender issues when such feelings are grounds for dismissal.

Those enlisted cannot share gender identity questions with military doctors or mental health providers, and they are not allowed to seek outside counseling or medical care.

Still, findings suggest that transgender people are twice as likely to serve in the military than

people who are not transgender.

A recent survey by NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found that 20 percent of transgender respondents were veterans, compared to the 10 percent found for the general population by the American Community Survey for the same year.

Helms estimates that there are currently at least 300,000 transgender veterans living in the

United States.

Still, military issues for transgender people have not been prioritized in LGBT movements. "There was an awareness of the [ transgender ] community," said LaTrobe of gay and lesbian service organizations. "How significant or how meaningful that was I would hesitate to quantify… there was a focus on repealing 'Don't Ask,

Don't Tell." However, it is not only gay and lesbian military

activists who have showed a lack of interest in repealing the ban on transgender people, said Keisling. Transgender communities themselves have not focused on the ban. Transgender people already face employment discrimination, hate-based violence, homelessness and other life-or-death issues at alarming rates, she said.

"This [ ban ] just doesn't rise to the level of emergency," Keisling said.

Younger generations of transgender people may not even know the ban exists at all, say activists. They, too, might believe that the DADT repeal will open the doors for transgender military service.

In an effort to raise awareness about the ban, Helms created a Facebook event and asked people to take a moment silence on Sept. 20 for transgender service members and veterans. More than 2,100 committed to the moment of silence.

Some groups holding DADT repeal celebrations said their parties would take that moment, too. Helms said she was eager for the celebrations. Despite the lack of impact on transgender people, she is excited to see the end of DADT. More than that, she is ready to focus on transgender people in the military.

"After it's over, then the work begins," she said.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

LGBT Veterans Monument dedicated 2015-05-25
LGBT veterans remember murdered gay sailor 2015-05-24
LGBT veterans, Lakeside Pride Freedom Marching Band join Memorial Day Parade 2015-05-23
Girl Scouts include transgender girls 2015-05-22
Senators ask DoD for equal opportunity policies for LGB servicemembers 2015-05-21
Monument to honor LGBT veterans in national cemetery in Illinois 2015-05-19
Missing Chicago trans woman located 2015-05-17
Great Lakes command reduces religious services, stokes outrage 2015-05-15
Transgender woman reported missing following brain surgery 2015-05-14
HRC, Gender Proud work for visibility of Philippine trans community 2015-05-13
LGBT veterans to be honored with monument in national cemetery 2015-05-13
Conference shows consequences of gender norms 2015-05-13
Bound for glory: Trans Aussie IML contender Max Mack 2015-05-13
National roundup: Cleveland's pro-gay move; Hawaii's pro-trans law; trans teen's suicide 2015-05-12
Windy City Times reporter wins Lisagor Award 2015-05-09
Transgender employee takes action against Barnes & Noble 2015-05-07
Gay Vietnam hero tells his tale 2015-05-06
Trans student petitions for gender-neutral accommodations 2015-05-06
'Rainbow Train' on track to children's gender expression 2015-05-06
Rogers Park trans woman and landlord settle-for now 2015-04-29
In the Life: Erin Sanders 2015-04-29
VIEWS: Peeing in Peace 2015-04-29
Out diver at Kremlin; pope nixes ambassador; trans person attacked 2015-04-28
National: Biden at HRC event; Little Rock; trans gamer's suicide 2015-04-28
Jenner ABC interview sparks debate, Chicago trans women respond 2015-04-24
'Striking' increase in Americans who know trans people 2015-04-23
The Baton becomes 'Transformative' 2015-04-22
National Finance Company sued for firing transgender employee 2015-04-16
Talk show on lives of transgender individuals casting April 18 2015-04-15
Life at 80: Renee Richards on and off the tennis court 2015-04-15
Briefs: Trans soldier; Obama against conversion therapy: blood donation 2015-04-14
Becky Kanis: Champion of change 2015-04-14
Florida eye clinic to pay $150,000 in trans/sex discrimination case 2015-04-13
Southern Poverty Law Center statement on Ashley Diamond case 2015-04-10
EEOC to ensure restroom access for transgender employees 2015-04-08
Transforming Gender: The Edge of the Knife 2015-04-08
Center marks ITQI Day of Visibility 2015-04-08
National: Jeb Bush; Dan Savage; White House trans briefing 2015-04-07
Film about transgender teacher in Hawaii on PBS May 4 2015-04-06
Open group letter on 2015 violence against LGBTQs, trans women of color 2015-04-02
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.