Target: Barack Obama
Goal: Lift ban on transgenders in the military
While the ban on gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals from joining the military has been lifted, transgender individuals still cannot serve openly. Because the ban was only based on sexual orientation, being transgender was not included as it is still classified as a medical disorder. Demand this ban be lifted so that transgenders can be treated with equality.
The military lists being transgender as a medical disorder in the same category as pedophilia, a fact that bars transgenders from joining and can be used to discharge them as well. Although a waiver can be requested, they are especially hard to come by. for active members, the military is unlikely to provide the proper medical coverage for transitioning individuals. On top of this, any violation of military grooming and uniform standards, whether or not it’s a medical protocol required before a full transition, would be considered a breaking with military regulations and could result in anything from disciplinary action, to discharge, to criminal prosecution.
In the past transgenders where often discharged using Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the legislation which barred people from serving in the military due to sexual orientation. This is just further evidence of the lack of understanding the military has for the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation; the fact gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual individuals have come closer to equality while transgenders are left behind is just another symptom of this ignorance. After the repeal of DADT, transgender individuals can still be discharged from the military for “medical reasons” or for being “undesirable.”
The discrimination does not end with perspective and active members; what benefits one receives changes according to his or her discharge, and transgender individuals can usually expect something other than an honorable one. For individuals who decide to make a transition after serving in the military, veteran benefits will cover in no way any sort of transition procedures. As for treatment by Veterans Affairs, there have been several mixed reports on the handling of transgender cases.
Eight ally countries to the United States allow transgenders to serve openly in the military, yet the United States as usual remains behind in the fight for equality. With transgenders facing a one in twelve chance of being murdered, compared to the average person whose chance is one in 18,000, there is clearly an atmosphere of extreme hate towards transgender individuals in the United States. By lifting the ban on transgenders in the military, the country would move one step closer to creating a safe and equal environment.
By signing the petition below, you will encourage the president to lift the military’s ban on transgenders. It is time for the United States to give equality to the entire LGBTQ community.
Dear President Obama,
While the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell lifted the ban on gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual individuals from joining the military, transgenders are still barred from serving openly. Due to the classification of being transgender as a medical disorder, while the rest of the LGBTQ community has moved forward in the struggle for equality, transgender individuals have been left behind. The ban on transgenders from joining the military must be lifted to achieve full equality.
The fact that transgender individuals where often formerly discharged using DADT shows the ignorance the military has had for the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation in the past; considering eight of the United States ally nations allow transgenders to openly serve in the military, this shows how particularly behind the United States is in understanding and showing respect for the transgender community. The extreme atmosphere of hate toward these individuals is evidenced by the fact that transgenders face a one in twelve chance of being murdered, compared to the average person whose chance is one in 18,000. By lifting the ban on transgenders in the military, the country would move one step closer to creating a safe and equal environment.
Please take action to remove the ban on transgenders in the military; it is time for the United States to give true equality to the entire LGBTQ community.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mayor McGinn via Flickr