Friday, November 11, 2011

When Will American Transpeople Be Able To Openly Serve?

This is a guest post, from the fabulous Monica of TransGriot

Today is Veterans Day, when we take a moment to honor the people who have served in our nation's military during peacetime and in combat situations. In some cases, they have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

I wanted to take a moment to especially show some love to transgender vets today.  There are those who proudly served, and those who unlike their GLB brothers and sisters must stay in hiding because DADT repal didn't cover them.   

While the afterglow has faded from the celebrations of DADT being repealed back in September for our gay, lesbian and bisexual brothers and sisters in the military, we transpeople are now burdened with what they they had to deal with in terms of living with the fear of being outed or not being able to openly serve our country.

GLB comminty, if you repeatedly told anyone who would listen that hiding who you were was an intolerable situation for you, how do you think transpeople feel about that? 
"For 17 years the US has made their gay lesbian and bisexual service members second class citizens and caused them to have to lie about who they are and who they love. No longer will that be the case. We now turn our attention to allowing transgender people to serve openly."   Monica Helms, TAVA President.
"It should be recognized that DADT has never included directives concerning Transgender people serving in the military."  "Therefore, there was no call from Transgender Americans to equally serve in the military of their country, without persecution and discrimination. However, Transgender people who have and still do serve under the same pre-DADT conditions, still find it necessary to lie and hide who they are, contrary to the best traditions of the military. We now press our GLB brothers and sisters to finish the job and help provide the means for Transgender people to be able to serve their country openly and equally as do all Americans."
Angela Brightfeather, TAVA Vice President.

The question is will they do so, or will they revert to their with all deliberate speed 'we'll come back for you' tendencies when it comes to pushing for the human rights of transpeople after they have engorged themselves at the civil rights table?

The fight for transpeople to openly serve continues, and don't forget (nor are we going to let you forget) one of the people who was chained to the White House fence in solidarity with you was transwoman Autumn Sandeen. 

She put her butt on the line to help you GLB peeps get DADT repealed, and now it's time for the GLB community to do the same.   Time for y'all to stand and deliver and help their transbrothers and transsisters who want the same thing you have achieved in having the ability to openly serve their country as well.

But based on what we're seeing now in terms of the 'all marriage all the time' mentality still permeating GL community organizing, I and other transpeople aren't holding our breath on that.

So when will American transpeople be able to like our counterparts can in six nations around the world openly serve our country?  How many Veterans Days will pass before we can?