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Carolyn Marie

Study: More than 2/3 of the Military Support Trans Service Members

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KayC

Thank you for sharing, Carolyn Marie❣️

 

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Wichita

Support, sure. But in regards to serving, specifically down range, I find my opinion a bit mixed. 
 

If the individual in question is already completely “finished” transitioning, and only needs maintenance via hormone pills...sure. I don’t see much issue... to a point.

 

But in my (admittedly) brief bit of research since I came out, I don’t think “in the middle of a transition” is an ideal time for most to serve.

 

To the military, humans...no matter if they’re cis, trans, straight, gay, by... are tools in a toolbox. We are little different from a hammer or screwdriver. And when we break, we’re discarded for the next one in line. It’s where the term “G.I.” comes from. We are general issue equipment, expendable and maintained so long as we’re useful. The moment that ends? Bye-bye.

 

While it’s true that a struggle for one person isn’t necessarily a struggle for all, the military has to operate on a lowest-common-denominator mindset. It’s why the entire military now must go through hours of computer training on “how not to r*pe” — because a small percentage of psychos decided they were entitle to another’s body. 


With combat deployments and hundreds or thousands of troops to manage, the battlefield is hardly the place to treat one or two people with kid gloves because of their individual needs.

 

And I may be very early on in my process, but from what my research has uncovered, missing medication in a deployed environment would be potentially catastrophic, since even a few days off female hormones causes menopause-like symptoms...that’s no time to be in a firefight.

 

I was discharged from the Air Force for issues relating to my depression — dysthymic disorder — that I was initially told “wouldn’t interfere with service”...up until it did...and they gave me the boot. I was later denied re-enlistment into the Army due to, presumably,  my worsening OCD as well as worsening depression.

 

And my discharge and subsequent denial was before I even admitted my gender dysphoria.

 

If OCD is enough of a disqualifier, I can’t imagine that gender dysphoria would ever be overlooked for organizations that exist to make war.

 

There are just way too many variables. 
 

I think the problem with this debate is that many transgendered people claim the military is discriminating against the trans community. It’s not. It’s disqualifying people based on a mental condition for which transition is one possible treatment.

 

It’s no different that being disqualified for asthma, prior bone injuries, flat feet...etc. It’s one more “condition” that commanders in a combat zone don’t need to be preoccupied with.

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JanePlain

This is meant  jokeingly but women would probably be more formitable as mine is when she has her period. 

 

On a serious point being trans is no longer considered a mental illness.  The DSM that used to list this as mental illness has had that removed.  *At last!  Now that there are more studies about the cause of this its become strictly a medical issue and is why informed consent started in as far as getting hormones and so forth.  You don't need a series of therapists signing you off anymore.  Which I think is a good even if I personally think everyone should give therapy a shot.  And talking to a gender therapist if you have any self doubts or just want some expert opinions on how to proceed.

 

In regards to the military needing to train its male soldiers not to rape its female soldiers I have a very personal problem with that and the lack of leadership to stomp it (And the people doing it) out of the Army and into a prison cell. Its unspeakable. This happening down range is beyond belief.  

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Wichita
2 hours ago, JanePlain said:

 

 

This is meant  jokeingly but women would probably be more formitable as mine is when she has her period. 

 

On a serious point being trans is no longer considered a mental illness.  The DSM that used to list this as mental illness has had that removed.  *At last!  Now that there are more studies about the cause of this its become strictly a medical issue and is why informed consent started in as far as getting hormones and so forth.  You don't need a series of therapists signing you off anymore.  Which I think is a good even if I personally think everyone should give therapy a shot.  And talking to a gender therapist if you have any self doubts or just want some expert opinions on how to proceed.

 

In regards to the military needing to train its male soldiers not to rape its female soldiers I have a very personal problem with that and the lack of leadership to stomp it (And the people doing it) out of the Army and into a prison cell. Its unspeakable. This happening down range is beyond belief.  

 

Remember... I already agreed being trans isn't a "disorder." Transitioning is a treatment for the "condition" known as gender dysphoria. And that "condition," and everything that comes with it isn't something I feel a commander needs to focus attention on in a hostile combat environment.

 

To me, it's no different than forcing commanders do deal with a troop's asthma "well he/she is fine so long as he/she carries an inhaler..." It just creates an un-neccessary potential for risk to the troop, the unit, and the mission.

 

And if my dysthymic disorder (now changed in the DSM to persistent depressive disoder) was enough to get me discharged... if my OCD is enough to keep me out...so too is gender dysphoria, whether it's treated or not.

 

Transition is difficult even in the best, most ideal settings and scenarious. Add in a combat deployment schedule and it's a recipe for disaster. If your unit's best sniper breaks his arm 2 days before a deployment, he stays at home station while the unit deploys without him. Now the unit is down a troop. Having a troop's transition schedule render him or her undeployable is no different... except it's not a sudden and unexpexted accident. It's a process that can take longer to complete than a basic, 4-year enlistment, let alone a 12-month deployment. 

 

I have a friend who had simple "knee pain" in Navy basic training get him discharged. He was told to have surgery on it and he could enlist again, only to later be denied entry even after having the surgey. And in transitioning, we're talking a lot more than simple knee surgery. 

 

In my specic case (because I don't want to use another hypothetical sniper example), I'm looking at -- at a minimum -- 4 surgeries...not counting complete dental implant to fix my horrific smile:

 

Vocal surgery -- recovery time of 2 weeks to 2 months...no talking;

Facial surgery -- recovery time at least in the same range as vocal surgery;

Breast augmentation -- Recovery time up to 6 months... no heavy lifting;

Bottom surgery -- recovery time up to a year, not even taking into account the 3-5 times daily dilation schedule. 

 

Sure, from today up until a year or so from now, it's just hormones and voice training. But after that, I'd be non-deployable for potentially two years, if not longer. 

 

And let's look at hormones now. Most common expected changes:

 

Breast growth...extremely painful. I've read reports that carrying groceries, even a flight of stairs can cause agony.

Muscle mass loss... A common theme I've seen is suprise at how dramatic a change this ends up being. And this suprise is from civilians who don't wear 60 pounds of body armor and another 50-100 pounds of gear. As a 6-foot, 200-pound Staff Sergeant in the Air Force, even I struggled with all the gear I had to take on deployment...and I was a desk jockey/pencil pusher with no body armor or heavy machinegun.

Emotional instability... Whether you're in the "second puberty" camp or you call it something else, it's not something a troop, nor the troop's commander needs to be dealing with in a combat zone.

 

Now let's look back at those two lists...Any two items, or one of the larger ones is sufficient to get a cisgengered person kicked out. Heck I've seen some get the boot for failing to maintain finances...or being a mere 2 pounds overweight after a year of constant weight loss.

 

Troops are not, and cannot be treated like they're special. They are one-size-fits-all, "general issue" equipment. Living, breathing equipment maybe. But beyond that, no different than any other expendable resource. It's how they're thought of, how they're trained, and how they're treated and used in a combat zone. Our military has adopted one rifle over another because the other wasn't as versatile and didn't stand up well in a hostile environment. 

 

Troops, while more complex than a rifle, must meet the same standard: if they're a detriment to the unit and/or mission, they pose un-neccessary rislk to themselves and their unit.

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KayC

I find it interesting that many of the commentary in the media and politics used to deny service to transgender are similar to those that were historically used to avoid desegregation of the military, and to keep women from serving (to begin with) and serving in combat specialties even today.  Its just another horse of a different color (a rainbow horse maybe?)

 

1 hour ago, Wichita said:

Troops, while more complex than a rifle, must meet the same standard: if they're a detriment to the unit and/or mission, they pose un-neccessary rislk to themselves and their unit.

There are some cis-men in the military who might fall in this category.  Its really about the individual, not the gender.

 

As you pointed out @Wichita (btw, thank you for your service) there are a wide range of circumstance that can make a person non-deployable.  Those are things the military deals with on a regular basis, so I don't see it as a reason to "blanket" exclude any body who wants to serve their country.

 

There was little/no push back from military leadership when the original trans-ban was lifted in 2016.  It was only after it was politicized in 2017/2018 by .. well ..  (oh... imagine that!) that it became an issue.

This is a good article if anyone cares to read

https://www.hrc.org/resources/transgender-military-service

 

 

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Wichita
8 hours ago, KayC said:

There are some cis-men in the military who might fall in this category.  Its really about the individual, not the gender.

 

As you pointed out @Wichita (btw, thank you for your service) there are a wide range of circumstance that can make a person non-deployable.  Those are things the military deals with on a regular basis, so I don't see it as a reason to "blanket" exclude any body who wants to serve their country.

 

There was little/no push back from military leadership when the original trans-ban was lifted in 2016.  It was only after it was politicized in 2017/2018 by .. well ..  (oh... imagine that!) that it became an issue.

This is a good article if anyone cares to read

https://www.hrc.org/resources/transgender-military-service

 

 


Exactly. That’s my point. Those cisgendered folks — of which at the time, I was one — are indeed kicked out for those things that make them non-deployable. It happens daily...and no one cares. Troop can’t cut it? Out. Can’t maintain weight? Out. Can’t keep his/her hygiene up? Out.  Can’t maintain finances? Out.


One of my good friends at my first base was sexually assaulted by another. Understandably, she became depressed. They sent her to therapy, telling her “Oh you’re fine to still serve, no problem.” Not even a couple of months later, her doctor got deployed overseas and my friend got discharged.

 

The military has, for awhile now, been streamlining its ranks down to an all-warfighter, all-the-time mindset. 
 

Technically some, like the Marines, have always had this mindset. In the Marines, they drill into your head that you are “a rifleman first, everything else second.” That mantra means it doesn’t matter to the Marines if they trained you as infantry, a pilot, a doctor, a lawyer...anything... if they need you to pick up a weapon and fight the enemy, regardless of your daily job speciality...that’s what you do. No questions, no gripes, no legal recourse...just “congrats...today, you’re infantry. Get to fighting... Hope you don’t die.”
 

As the other services adopt a similar mantra, troops are finding there are less and less openings in military jobs where you essentially “never deploy.” Prior to this, you could theoretically go to entry processing and, based on your test scores, choose a career you knew ahead of time never, ever left the continental United States.

 

This is increasingly difficult, if not impossible. Everyone must be deployable. An Army friend of mine referred to it, if I recall correctly, as “move out or get out,” meaning if you didn’t want to deploy, they had a lovely discharge awaiting you.

 

Even the Air Force, shortly after I left, was tapping its ranks for what were called “JET Taskings.” Now I can’t tell you what the acronym stood for anymore, but the effect was that a pencil-pushing Air Force troop, such as I was, might find themselves deployed to an Army post as a convoy driver, or perimeter security, or whatever grunt work the Army was in need of at the time.
 

As I later learned through the Army recruiter helping me (try) to re-enlist...these taskings didn’t always go well. The Air Force isn’t trained like the Army or Marines. He related to me a tale of a convoy of vehicles where the “command” car was destroyed by the enemy. The next in line, an Air Force troop, locked up and froze because they weren’t trained to know what to do next. And their freeze-up effected every vehicle behind them in the convoy. They had to be rescued by another Army unit.
 

The military is called “service” for a reason. Your wants and needs are irrelevant to the needs of the service. 
 

Want to be physical therapy? Too bad. We need cooks. Want to be a cook? Too bad, we need tank drivers. Want to be a tank driver? What a shame, today we need grunts. Here’s your rifle.

 

Upon hearing someone they know is enlisting, every single prior-service person explains this fact to the person. And the advice includes “Make sure you squeeze out of the military every single benefit... advantage... whatever that you can...because they’re absolutely going to squeeze it out of you.”

 

The military isn’t there for the individual. The needs of the individual only matter insofar as it pertains to the mission for which they’re tasked. Kid being born? Too bad. You’re deployed. Can’t see your spouse? Too bad. Spouses aren’t standard issue. 
 

These are the things any of us with prior service tell...even shout... to anyone who’s enlisting and we lay it on nice and thick. We make it sound as horrible as we can because the new enlistee needs to hear it that way. Because that’s why it’s called “in the service.” They’re serving something much bigger than their little suburban world and they need to understand that. 
 

The military is not the place for someone to not meet what’s expected of them because their transition schedule demands too much of their time. It just can’t function that way.

 

I wish it did. I wish I felt differently. As I said, having recently begun my process and come out to friends and family, I’m of mixed feelings about it all. But having also served (even as a pencil pusher)...and now on the doorstep of this, at least, 2-3 year process... I just can’t imagine undergoing this process without seriously hampering my unit... any unit. 
 

Maybe there’s a superhuman transwoman (or man) out there whose surgeries go absolutely fantastic, recovery time is non-existent, and they’re so squared away that it doesn’t affect anything at all. 
 

But that “superhuman” trans person wouldn’t be the norm. Just as a cis female strong enough to out-bench press her male counterparts, and leave them all in the dust on a two-mile run isn’t the norm. There are some who can, sure. But it’s not the norm. It’s not even the average. And the military operates on a theory of lowest-common-denominator. If you can’t meet the minimum standards — whatever those standards are for — you’re out.

 

It’s how I was discharged. 
It’s how my female friend with depression got discharged.

It’s how my friend with “a little knee pain” got discharged.

And it’s how many, many other cisgendered people get discharged for things that, in the civilian world, would be meaningless.

It sucks...but the Marines love to day “welcome to the suck” for a reason. The military isn’t a cushy 9-5, work-from-home gig. It’s a meat grinder. And that meat grinder doesn’t care if you missed a hormone dose, or if you don’t like your voice, or if you want something different downstairs. It just doesn’t care.

 

Okay, I’m rambling, I’ll shut up now. I don’t get out much these days, so I tend to talk (or type) a lot, especially when I have knowledge on a particular topic.

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KayC
7 hours ago, Wichita said:

Okay, I’m rambling

That's cool, Wichita .. I enjoyed the passion and the Ramble

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Wichita
55 minutes ago, KayC said:

That's cool, Wichita .. I enjoyed the passion and the Ramble

 

Thanks. 😎

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