The Fight for Trans Rights in the Military
|Transgender Flag by Jennifer Pellinen|
While the successful repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) means sexual orientation is now protected, gender identity is not. And although gender dysphoria is considered a medical disqualification, discharges may be classified as "administrative," potentially limiting troops' future access to VA healthcare. ...
As a medical student, Jai feels especially astounded by the discrimination trans* people face when it comes to accessing necessary health care. "It's comparable to a person with type II diabetes or hypothyroidism not having their medication covered," Jai says.
Read more at Rolling Stone.
For those in doubt about the fact that this is a medical issue, with physical causes, several articles in peer-reviewed, scholarly and scientific journals are linked in A.E.Brain: Transsexual and Intersex Gender Identity, which also contains records from an Australian Supreme Court decision. It's well worth reading, so educate yourselves, because objecting out of ignorance or prejudice is simply wrong.
In somewhat related news, Matt Taibbi discussed the Chelsea Manning (formerly "Bradley" Manning) case in a masterful critique of the press reports on the subject: As Bradley Manning Trial Begins, Press Predictably Misses the Point.
Among other things, he writes:
All of this shit is disgraceful. It's Chumpbait.The American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association have stated that Transsexuality is indeed a physical medical issue (with psychological aspects). It's not "all in their heads," in the sense of it being purely psychological; it's not purely psychological -- the causes are physical. As Chaz Bono stated, it's a "birth defect," and the sooner the evidence presented in the blog post by Zoe becomes common knowledge, the better off everyone will be (except those who are delusional, refusing to accept any evidence contrary to their preconceived ideas -- although they could benefit from this information as well, if they would allow themselves to learn).
If I was working for the Pentagon's PR department as a hired press Svengali, with my salary eating up some of the nearly five billion dollars the armed services spends annually on advertising and public relations, I would be telling my team to pump reporters over and over again with the same angle.
I would beat it into the head of every hack on this beat that the court-martial is about a troubled young man with gender identity problems, that the key issue of law here rests inside the mind of young PFC Manning, that the only important issue of fact for both a jury and the American people to decide is exactly the question in these headlines.
Is Manning a hero, or a traitor? Did he give thousands of files to Wikileaks out of a sense of justice and moral horror, or did he do it because he had interpersonal problems, because he couldn't keep his job, because he was a woman trapped in a man's body, because he was a fame-seeker, because he was lonely?