Friday, September 20, 2013

I Repeat: DADT Still Hasn't Died For Trans People

United States Military: Lift the Ban on Transgender People in the MilitaryToday is the second anniversary of the day the DADT repeal became official and gay, lesbian and bi soldiers in the US armed forces could openly serve our country.  But that's still not the case for trans people.  We not only still can't openly serve, we aren't even allowed to sign up

Trans military service should have happened for us in 2010, but we unfortunately got thrown under the Humvee by GL peeps desperate for a policy win. 

But thanks to the new group SPARTA and the work of many dedicated people and allies over the last year to shed light on this unjust issue, the prohibition on trans people serving in the US military may finally be heading to the dustbin of history.

While there are some critics like Professor Dean Spade who believe the trans military service issue is not a fight we should engage in at this time, I disagree.  It's no accident that after World War II and the heroic myth-busting service of African-Americans in the 761st 'Black Panthers' Tank Battalion and the Tuskegee Airmen the first cracks in Jim Crow segregation began to appear with the 1947 desegregation of the military by President Truman.

Allowing trans people to serve in our nation's military will not only remove the stigma of second class citizenship that taints transpeople, it will make a dent in our unemployment numbers as well. 

And some of our leaders in the modern trans rights movement were military veterans. It's why I support SPARTA and our allies in this efforts to end the unjust ban on trans military service.         

As Brynn Tannehill of SPARTA pointed out in a HuffPo article, military service is also seen as an honorable profession, the door to respectability for marginalized people in this country and will have the complementary effect of accelerating our trans human rights march.  

And if trans people can openly serve in Canada, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Thailand and Israel, why not here?

Patriotic trans people shouldn't have to hide who they are to serve our country. It's past time we had to ability like the trans people in ten other nations to openly serve our country. 

And that needs to happen as soon as possible.


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