Monday, February 11, 2013

TAVA Wants You For A New Mission

TransGriot Note:  There were people in the community alarmed when I posted the comment on the TAVA 10th anniversary post from founding TAVA president Monica Helms that consideration was being made to shut down the organization.

Here's a guest post by TAVA founding Vice President Angela Brightfeather.

At present, TAVA is tacking to the right and looking for new help and resetting it's course. The more we talk about all this, the better of and faster we can get on course.

The one thing that has really irked TAVA from the start has been the big elephant in the room every time that anyone puts the words, Transgender, military, serving, together in one sentence. That is the uneasy and unspoken fear and feeling that Trans people will join the military so that they can get their GRS for free. This strawman argument has historically been easy to prove wrong and only a fear that has it's basic foundation sunk deeply in the transphobic beliefs of the unkowing, dating back to the 1960's and that still hangs in the air like a bad smelling and outdated saucer of sour milk, is keeping us from obtaining equality on every front.

The truth is best viewed in the light of day. The new mission and primary cause for TAVA should be to acquire full and equal rights for our Trangender Veterans and that includes GRS. It is wholly unfair and totally judgemental to think that GRS should be the only thing that is specifially pointed out in the White House Directive issued about fair treatment for Trans Vets, that GRS is something that will not be contemplated. No reason was given for the exception to our equal treatment, but the suspicion is that it is bred in the same illogical thoughts about Transgender people specified in the DSM, which also by the way, specifically states that no Transgender person should be discriminated against due to their "condition".

The case FOR Transgender Vets being able to obtain GRS in the VA system, needs to be noted as the bellweather case and proof of discrimination against Transgender people in general created by the DSM and shoved right down their throat as the "real life" test of their definitions and their affect on people and how hypocritical and hurtful their judgment really is.

The VA's and DOD's use of the DSM as a reason to discriminate is a convenient yet unjust example of cowardice in the face of reality, by those who are supposed to be our most supportive and brave people in a system dominated by the directive for protecting all of us.

If TAVA is to grow and be led by our best and bravest people in this fight, the battle starts with the recognition that GRS is not cosmetic surgery, but that it can be a cure. As a priority, this fight is equal to or more important even than being able to serve in the military because those of us who already have served know and understand that when we devoted that part or time of our lives to defending our country, we did so based on the need, love and pride we had as Americans and that because we are Transgender Americans, the commitments and promises we proudly made and kept, must be met fairly by the VA and DOD.

TAVA is looking for a few good people to fight this new fight and if they don't show up, the odds are that we will not win the war.

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