Friday, October 26, 2012

Allyson Robinson To Helm OutServe-SLDN

This weekend two organizations that have fought hard for the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the rights of LGBT servicemembers , the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and OutServe are finalizing a merger.  

The new combined 6000 member OutServe-SLDN that will emerge has pledged to continue to fight for the rights of rainbow community service personnel.

As I and many trans people have pointed out, the 2011 repeal of  DADT left trans servicemembers behind, puts us at risk of being tossed out of the military if our trans status is discovered and still does not allow any trans person to openly serve our nation as transpeople in six countries can now do.. 

The merged organization recently announced its new executive director and the person tapped to lead  OutServe-SLDN is someone I know and have run across a few times in my travels around the country in Allyson Robinson.

She's definitely qualified to become the new executive director of this merged organization.  She is a 1994 graduate of West Point, commanded Patriot missile units in Europe and the Middle East on multiple deployments, was recently the deputy director of HRC's Workplace Project and has a Texas connection.  

After Robinson resigned her commission in 1999 to pursue her ministerial calling and focus on social justice issues, she earned her Masters of Divinity in theology at Baylor University in 2007.

Robinson stated “I am honored to lead the new OutServe-SLDN into this next phase of advocacy and action on behalf of our brave LGBT service members, veterans, and their families. Until they are guaranteed equal opportunity, recognition, support, and benefits, our mission is incomplete. We cannot and will not leave them behind.”

In addition to becoming the first trans person to head a major TBLG organization, Robinson has promised to advocate for the gender nonconforming service members left behind by DADT repeal as well. 

“We cannot stop until we reach the day when all qualified Americans who wish to wear the uniform of our armed forces have the opportunity to do so with honor and integrity – and without fear of discrimination or harassment – whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.”

Congratulations Allyson on this historic appointment to head OS-SLDN.  May you have much success in executing your new human rights mission.

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