Target: Department of Defense, The Pentagon
Goal: Thank the Department of Defense for taking a step towards transgender equality in the military
In an unprecedented move, the Pentagon has recognized its first gender change for a military veteran and established a process for future transgender veterans to change their gender records. The Pentagon has provided a comprehensive process by which transgender veterans who have already transitioned can document the completion of their reassignment surgery. There is still much progress to be made until transgender veterans have equal rights in the military, but this is a step in the right direction. Thank the Department of Defense for making progress towards transgender equality.
Though the military does not allow people who are transgender to openly serve in the military, many individuals undergo a transition after they have completed their service. Veterans who have undergone gender reassignment surgery can give proof of their reassignment by providing a letter from the doctor who performed the surgery, a court order, legally changing the gender in accordance with applicable state law, an original birth certificate, and a document that reflects their sponsor’s name. The ability to document a gender reassignment with the Department of Defense makes it easier for these veterans and their spouses to properly receive benefits.
Autumn Sandeen, the first transgender veteran to document her transition with the Department of Defense points out that while there are still many roadblocks facing those who wish to document their gender reassignment, “Documenting the current DOD process to change one’s recorded gender . . . is the first step toward changing DOD policies that harm trans servicemembers and veterans.” This step is only one step in a long line of changes that must be made, but it marks progress.
Thank the Department of Defense for taking initial steps towards equality for transgender servicemembers and veterans.
Dear Department of Defense,
Recently, you established a way for transgender veterans to document their gender reassignment with the Department of Defense. Previously, there was no way by which transgender veterans could register their proper gender with your benefits system. This made it more difficult for these veterans and their spouses to properly receive benefits.
Though there is still much more work to be done until transgender servicemembers are equal, this is a step in the right direction. Perhaps the next step would be to allow transgender servicemembers to openly serve. I would like to thank you for making moves towards transgender equality in the military.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Torbakhopper via Flickr