Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A Tale Of Two Militaries.

One is Great Britain’s and the other is our military. One is open and affirming and the other still discriminates, can you guess which one discriminates?
If the RAF can accept my gender transition, why can't the media?
Ayla Holdom is a search and rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force. When she began her gender transition, she was supported by friends and family and by her employer. Yet she, like teacher Lucy Meadows, who killed herself in March, has had to endure articles full of hurt and spite. She argues for all transgender people to be treated with the dignity they deserve
By Ayla Holdom
The Observer
Saturday 1 June 2013

People are often surprised when I tell them that I transitioned in the RAF, imagining days past when people such as myself would have been discharged. Today, that couldn't be further from reality and, following the brave work and example shown by many before me, being transgender (as with being gay or bisexual) is simply not an issue. Importantly, I witness this shift not just in policy, but in culture and ethos as well. I genuinely hold the RAF up as a benchmark in this regard. My transition barely caused a raised eyebrow. I had support when I needed it but was rightly expected to do my job and I was assessed professionally, not on the basis of my gender or my sexuality.
Now let’s look at how the U.S. military handles trans service members…
SEAL Team 6 veteran comes out as transgender
The military currently bans trans service members, but a new memoir could open the policy to scrutiny
By Katie Mcdonough
Monday, Jun 3, 2013

The 2011 repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” ended the military’s official policy of discriminating against gays and lesbians in the armed services, but a ban on transgender service members remains in place, meaning that trans men and women are still barred from serving.

But some advocates say that may change, or may come closer than ever before to changing, with the release of a new memoir from a former Navy SEAL. Kristen Beck (formerly Chris Beck) was a SEAL for 20 years — and a member of SEAL Team 6, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden — before retiring, coming out as transgender and beginning her transition from male to female in 2011.
They have served with honor and bravery but because of bigotry and bias trans service members are forced out of the military. There is no logical reason for trans-people to be kicked out of the service.

There is a call for proposals to study what effect trans service members will have on the military but I don’t see the need for the study except to provide paper pusher to have a stack of papers on their desk. All they have to do is look to the north to Canada and the other NATO members to see what effect trans service members had on their military.

It was until a couple a months ago that the Defense Department recognized a retired trans-persons true gender.
Trans Activists Highlight Military's Step Forward
This could be the first time the Department of Defense has ever recognized the existence of trans veterans.
The Advocate
BY Lucas Grindley
May 16 2013

After a long series of paperwork was filed, the Department of Defense has finally recognized a veteran as a transgender woman.
Sandeen also points out that despite this change, still she can't get an updated DD214, which is a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

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