Monday, February 23, 2015

Is There New Hope For Trans Servicemembers?

The Secretary of Defense just made a statement about trans people in the military,
Defense Secretary Carter: Transgender People Shouldn't Be Denied Military Service
NBC News
By Miranda Leitsinger
February 23, 2015

Carter made the comments at a town-hall event in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in response to a question from Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, a doctor, about transgender soldiers serving in an "austere environment" like the one in Kandahar.

" (W)e want to make our conditions and experience of service as attractive as possible to our best people in our country. And I'm very open-minded about — otherwise about what their personal lives and proclivities are, provided they can do what we need them to do for us. That's the important criteria," Carter said. "I don't think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them."
Ehrenfeld told NBC News that he asked Carter about transgender soldiers because he had personally cared for a transgender soldier in his role as a physician in Afghanistan the last six months and interacted with several others.

"I am continually struck by how these individuals, who risk their lives every day to support our mission, live not in fear of the enemy, but rather in fear of being discovered for who they are," Ehrenfeld said in an email. "I am hopeful that someday the outdated policy excluding transgender individuals from serving will be lifted. In my experience, transgender service members are some of the bravest soldiers we've got."
I wonder how long it will take to move the government bureaucracy to make it happen, a year, two? Three? How long must trans servicemembers wait, haven’t they waited long enough?

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