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KathrynJulia

Being Trans in the Military. Would it work?

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KathrynJulia   
KathrynJulia

I wonder if the military will ever change it's policy on people transitioning to a different gender some day. If the soldier or sailor adhered to the standards attributed to the gender they are transitioning to, what would be the harm to military readiness. They could have guidelines in place. The status would have to be confirmed by licensed gender therapist. The soldier would need to transition during a reinlistment and change to a specialty consistant with the rules of the gender to which they are transitioning to. They would have to be able to pass the same physical fitness test to show they can do the work of the gender they are transitioning to or they would have to take a position that they can physically do. Woman have proved themselves right alongside of the men in the military and have proven themselves capable. What do you think? Could it work someday down the road? Kathryn

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Donna Jean   
Donna Jean

.

Sure it could work......It already works in some other countries.like Canada and Australia......

But, in reality, I don't see it happening in the US for a LOOOOONG time...

Huggs

Dee Jay

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Guest_SL   
Guest_SL

Not only could it work, I think in the very near future you'll read about the first Transgender sailor, soldier, Marine or Air Force member. Transition while an active member might not be allowed, given operational readiness and leave status and the PT test would be a bit tricky as the standards are different. But it's coming.

SL

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Guest Elizabeth K   
Guest Elizabeth K

Somehow I doubt it. The politics of America, and therefore the basis of the military, is Christian Family Values. Until there is a true separation of church and state, the idea of transsexuality being a valid medical condition that can be treated (most of us here suspect it is) will never be accepted. So your assigned sex at birth is what you must maintain to be acceptable to the military.

Now sexual orientation in the military? That has finally been resolved (if it withstands the efforts of the revisionists who seek power). But the new policies are LGB protective - not LGBT - so there ya go. Tossed under the bus again, why to we even bother to try to be the T in LGBT (but that is another topic).

So wait it out if you are trans and in the military. It could come? May come? Should come? I never thought Communist Red China would be our very best friend grin. I guess anything is possible.

Lizzy

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Guest Mariah_S   
Guest Mariah_S

I would say once the military can answer these five questions, then there might be a chance.

1) What sort of transgender person would be allowed to be in the military? Can they say they are transgender and thats it? Do they need top surgery? Do they need bottom surgery?

2) Will the military pay for surgeries? If not, will the military excuse a member from duty to recover from surgeries?

3) Will hormone treatments effect the ability of this person to perform their duties? Is it possible to deploy somebody with a 3 months supply of testosterone (controlled substance)? How will this person perform if they do not have access to their required medications?

4) How will the military treat transgender people in accordance with AR 40-501 and any other medical regulations? Will they be their own category or will they be treated as they ask? How will this be delt with under current regulations that prohibit sexual abnormalities caused at birth?

5)Is there a need for transgender people to be in the military? Does it cause greater disruption to kick them out or to keep them?

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Guest Kelly-087   
Guest Kelly-087

I'll be honest, I don't really think it's practical to have transgender people in most military environments. Doesn't mean that they shouldnt be allowed to serve at all, but I think there would be severe limitations due to our medical treatments. It's a different situation than lesbians and gays..since being lesbian or gay doesn't limit your physical ability to perform. But anti-androgen and estradiol HRT will.

Maybe FTMs would be easier to put into motion though.

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Guest BreanneB   
Guest BreanneB

I dont think it will happen anytime soon. Yes it would be nice then I could have started HRT while serving and actually came out back then. But no the military is just to stubborn to change rules and regs that have been around since cavemen. To me I think anyone reguardless of sexual preferance, Gender, race, T or not should be allowed. Your home life is just that your home life. If the military wanted to change their image and be more friendly to the LGBTQ society then they would be smart to change it. But as long as politicians run this country and the military I dont think it will ever happen. And its not fare either because Bi females get put on light duty to have the baby and then get free leave too. So how would transitioning be any different!!!! Tata

Go Navy!!!! A global force for good.

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Guest Caroline Anne   
Guest Caroline Anne

I think it would work. All they have to do is follow the same rules that apply to the rest of the force. The only tough part would be an in-service transition. It's doable, though. Other countries do it. From what I understand, the Australians transfer the person as soon as they come out. You start living as your target gender and if your job is incompatible with gender, they reclassify you. At least that what I read, the internet and all..........

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Donna Jean   
Donna Jean

.

Caroline........

The fly in that ointment is the cost and time involved in cross training if applicable to gender related jobs....

This is probably what the govt will argue..(not MY opinion!)

Someone on a 4 year enlistment that came out as Trans might not be able to be cross trained in the time left and the military may see it as a cost/time issue....

After all, a male that is carrying a rifle in the infantry would come out as trans and have to be given a job in another field....

I think this is the reason that we aren't included in the repeal of DADT.....Gays don't have to change jobs, sleep in different accommodation, receive specialized medical treatment ....it remains status quo for them.....

Not so for us...

I know that Aus and Canada are doing it, but, I don't know the details...

Dee Jay

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Guest Just_Amy   
Guest Just_Amy

I wonder if there ever going to let it happen..

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MackenzieB   
MackenzieB

I'd think it would be a long time away if at all. DOD as a whole is lagging behind all other Federal Agencies on the mandated equalities for civilian employees which were Government wide. If they can't get their act together on just civilian employees, how are they going to get their act together on a much larger active duty population?

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rebeccaanne07   
rebeccaanne07

There are several of us still on active duty, who discreetly see and pay out of pocket for therapists for hormones etc... we go through mild changes, mostly to feminize our bodies so once we retire or get out it is easier. I have fought in every war/conflict since the gulf war as an infantryman, so the belief we couldnt do it physically is garbage. I have always carried my load and then some, and have been leading Soldiers and Marines into combat as a 1SG. But alas, it wont happen becuase it took forever just to acknowledge there were gays in the military, people are so jundgemental and until we break down that barrier it would be impractical.

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crissy_oakley   
crissy_oakley

It is an interesting question. I think the first transgendered person to serve will be post-op, prior to joining or potentially a reservist.

I know of 3 people who were discharged after they came out to their respective commands. 2 where discharged after a hastily planned Med Board, when the DON used the DSMV to declare they were medically/psychologically unfit. The 3rd was stripped of her security clearance. Since she was not unable to do her job, she was transferred and not allowed to re-enlist.

If there is a bright side to the restriction of not allowing Transgendered men and women to serve, it is that there are many who work for the DOD as civilians or contractors.

crissy

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Guest RaiRai   
Guest RaiRai

I find this topic very interesting...

....Partly because - a few issues back - there was actually an article about transgenders in the military in the 'Air Force Times' on base. It was estimating there was over 5,000 TG's in the military serving on active duty; in the format of interviewing someone who was TG, transitioning, with a girlfriend, while active-duty in the Army. It mentioned how TG's lived in fear on the inside, while trying to be who they really are at the same time, because they would be removed from service if they came out - and the military was something they honestly loved. They wanted to serve their country. I was so intrigued by this article (for obvious reasons), I bought it and brought it into work to see everyone's reactions.

It was not met by the most understanding of reactions, most of them were very loud "WHAT!?"s, followed by how it's "wrong" to allow people who are T in the military. One of them flat-out told me that you can not, would not, should not try to change your gender and it was both immoral, indecent and an act against nature (& God) - even after I tried to explain how there's medical evidence that some biological sexes have been born with the brain of an opposite gender. His take was - accept what you were given, deal with it, and how you don't see him trying to change his sex. My workplace then turned it into joking, such as which bathroom they would use, what they'd do if a womanly "man" was in the locker room with them, how the TG in the article was really a lesbian, etc. The main reactions however, were ones of disgust and adamant conviction that the DOD should not allow that sort of 'behavior' at all. My shop is 98% heterosexual males who are the 'macho' stereotype. Womanizing, game watching, beer guzzling, deer hunting men raised in homophobic environments.

A lot of people who join the military have "A" type personalities in the sense of; free-floating hostility, time urgency and impatience, irritation, exasperation, a competitive drive and an achievement-driven mentality. Unfortunately, this also creates a lot of 'butting of heads' because a lot of them have the 'I am right' mentality. If something goes against the way they were raised and they think it's "wrong", then this leads to a lot of discrimination. Even though the military accepts LGB now - and soldiers are expected to respect it - that doesn't mean everyone does and there are those who have connections, or like minded people, to get away with horrible crimes. A good example of this would be the explosion of sex scandals down at Lackland AFB; sex crimes in the military have been there for a long, long, long time and only now are they beginning to get the attention they deserve. On the victim advocate side of things; LGB is still considered a "dirty" thing because victims of homosexual crimes are treated with more attention than those of heterosexual crimes. The mentality is a person of the same gender is a bigger violation than someone of the opposite gender instead of simply letting sex crimes - as a whole - be a violation.

Since T is much further from being accepted - even in the general populace then LGB is - it could become very violent and very dangerous for those that are T. I think our country (USA) - as a whole - needs to grow and become more accepting before we expose a young T, impressionable and unafraid to be "out", to that sort of environment. The suicide rate is high enough for us as it is, already - not to mention in the military. If we had some fresh minds and not so many old dogs around I see more room for success, but not so much right now. My point is - you can tell people to accept something, but you can't take the hate out of the person.

Upon trying to find a copy of the article online - I failed. However, I did find this which relates to this topic as well and offers some hope;

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2012/10/military-transgender-veteran-outserve-sldn-102512w/

Shedding some light -

- Rai

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Guest Kelly-087   
Guest Kelly-087

It seems like a lot of logistics and issues to work out.

I don't see why an already fully transitioned person couldnt join the military.

I wouldn't -want- to transition in the military. That seems like you're transitioning times 100000000

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Guest Kelly-087   
Guest Kelly-087

RaiRai.. Ive noticed something.

A lot of the people that know whats "right and moral" for the military were never in the military.

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Guest RaiRai   
Guest RaiRai

I have to agree with you, Kelly, which just makes the situation a lot harder than it should be. People seem to think the structure, reliability and values of the military would change if they were to be more open and accepting - they aren't yet fully willing to accept otherwise. They're trying to, but they have awhile to go.

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Guest Paradox   
Guest Paradox

There are several of us still on active duty, who discreetly see and pay out of pocket for therapists for hormones etc... we go through mild changes, mostly to feminize our bodies so once we retire or get out it is easier. I have fought in every war/conflict since the gulf war as an infantryman, so the belief we couldnt do it physically is garbage. I have always carried my load and then some, and have been leading Soldiers and Marines into combat as a 1SG. But alas, it wont happen becuase it took forever just to acknowledge there were gays in the military, people are so jundgemental and until we break down that barrier it would be impractical.

I see that this is one of your first posts. Welcome to the forum!

Having spent over 10 years supporting DOD and MEPS, I can attest to the importance of 1SG and MSG. They make things happen, but alas I believe you are right. I believe no transgender person will be retained after becoming "known." I did see a Major make LT COL while being flagrantly gay, but he was otherwise a superb administrator.

Again,

Welcome!

Debra

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Guest Jessicaann   
Guest Jessicaann

Its more of a matter of changing the mindset of military service memebers.... Thats the biggest thing because i can tell you that most Marines are racist sexist and homophobic.... I got beat down last night because they "think" i am gay... thats the thing though the military isnt for everyone.... not everyone is cut out for it..... I thank god i lasted this long... next year my contract is up and I will be living full time going to college as a female :)

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Guest Paradox   
Guest Paradox

Grats to you! and thank you for serving our great country!

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CassieX   
CassieX

As a recent military retiree I can say that now is not the time for the military to even consider allowing this. As much as I would have loved to see it happen while I was serving and would love to see it happen now, there are far too many barriers against it happening. From a logistical point of view, it would cost too much to allow openly transgender service members to serve, what with seperate berthing assignments on ships and barracks <which Would happen as the lack of education or preceived prejudices would preclude them from staying in regular quarters while transistioning>. And lets not forget open bay barracks or in the field. I remember when woman first begun to serve on Navy combatants in the mid 90s. They were assigned officer quarters as there was no adequate berthing available. The male berthing was not suitable for their needs and had to be modified during ship overhauls. In the future the Navy might consider something similar for transitioning service members but that would create its own problems, namely resentment amongst the rest of the crew as to why that person was getting 'special' treatment.

And looking at the medical needs of a transitioning service member; The members medical needs would preclude them from serving in combat situations due to the lack of availablility of suitable resources. Currently the US military is stretched thin and has been for years. Every service member that cannot serve fully in an active role <combat or support> is taking away from a military branches ability to perform their mission. I wont spell out the list of all the people currently included in this category as i do not wish to indirectly offend someone, but a transitioning service member would add to that burden as they have their own unique needs. And just for the record I am a disabled Vet although most days you would never know. :lol:

Currently, I think the only safe way for a transgendered service member to serve is to serve honorably without drawing attention to their desire to transition. I understand the pain in that as I did it for 20 years. But if you truly wish a career in the military, its not worth outing yourself or being outed by someone in your chain as you will almost certainly be discharged and lose your retirement benefits. Luckily for me I was able to outstubborn myself to wait.

I think realistically that the military will allow in the future transgendered persons who have already transitioned to serve openly like gay and lesbian service members. It's just a matter of when.

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crissy_oakley   
crissy_oakley

I disagree with your reasons for not allowing Transgendered service members to openly serve, based on your comments based on increased costs and berthing.

First, the cost argument. The cost for hormones are about $20 a month. The cost for blood work would be cheaper, since most military bases and large deck ships, have complete laboratory facilities on board. The treatment for my sciatic nerve cost far more on the monthly basis, in terms of medications and physical therapy. Based on your cost approach, if a service member has any chronic injury or malady, they should be discharged.

Second, the berthing argument. There is plenty of flexibility in term of berthing aboard ships. The berthing overhauls that are frequently mentioned were nothing more than an accounting line items the DoD used to garner extra funding for overhauls. As far as officer "over flow berthing, that is a rare occurrence. One the occasion that does happen, it typically involves 4th year MidShipmen, who come about a ship for their 2 week at sea period.

crissy

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CassieX   
CassieX

I thought I had better further clarify my arguement to the comments that Crissy made.

I would agree with her that in CONUS there are base medical facilities that would probably be able to support a Transgendered service members needs, however I do not think that the same applies to medical facilities onboard ships <even large deck ones> or by extension overseas. I do not disagree with her that the cost of meds and labs would not be prohibitive but I would be critical of the standards of care afforded.

How many experienced doctors that are familiar with a Transgendered persons unique needs do you think the military has currently? Based on how hard it is to find them in the civilian world I very much doubt that there will be a sudden rush by them to serve in the military. Also on that note, how many counselors do you think the military currently has that are qualified to assist Transgender service members? Again, just like experienced doctors, good ones are hard to find in the civilian world. Yes the military could probably hire them and put them in hospitals and possibly the larger clinics but I doubt very much that they would be available forward deployed. Would the miltary turn to Chaplains to provide those counseling services?

And unfortunately, yes, based on a cost approach, service members get discharged for chronic injuries and illness every day. Is it fair? Of course not!

But thats why we have the Veterans Administration.

On the second point Berthing.

I'm sorry I was unclear about this. In the case I was referring to from the 1990s, it involved one of the pilot programs of introducing female enlisted sailors to the amphib I was on. If memory serves it was 4 female enlisted and they were assigned to officer state rooms as no suitable berthing existed onboard. They lived in those staterooms until the ship went into the yard for an overhaul.

Fast forward to today. I agree with Crissy's statement that most berthing overhauls dont seem to accomplish much in the way of cost. At least the ones I experienced. However, berthing on ships is generally divided amongst seperate departments and divisions, eg. Air and Operations. Crew members sleep in their assigned berthing areas. Male and Female Berthings are segregated. I cannot see any safe way that openly transitioning Transgedered service members could be safely integrated into those berthings. Yes, the military is much more enlightened than it was 10 years ago but I still think it is too Transphobic to accept openly transistioning Transgendered service members in the berthing/barracks area of their identified gender. Segregating them into their own area would not be a positive action as it would firstly isolate them, and secondly imply favoritism which would be counterproductive.

Cassie

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Amanda Whyte   
Amanda Whyte

The main thing that comes to mind for me is what happens if a deployed person runs out of hormones?

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crissy_oakley   
crissy_oakley

I just arrived back home, from a sexual assault class... During the class it occurred to me that during the years preceding DADT, there were no real legal protections for members of the LGBT community, in cases of sexual assault. If it came out during the investigation that the victim was a member of the LGBT community, they would be immediately separated with a Bad Conduct Discharge, while the assaulter typically got a slap on the wrist. Even during the DADT years, the victim would be discharged upon discovery. This resulted in many unreported sexual assaults. By not allowing Transgendered service members to be open about their gender, they are still divorced from legal protections by proxy.

God forbid, if I am every sexually assaulted but if I were, I would have to make a choice. Report the crime committed against me and face discharge or to not report the crime. That fact that I have to make that decision, is immoral on its face.

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