I'm going to try to keep this short, because I normally don't write posts in the middle of the day. But this topic is fresh and I've seen this article and several others like it circulating all over social media and I wanted to address it in my own post. That's why I have my own web site to state my opinion and say what I believe to be true. I don't waste my time arguing and ranting about these things on social media.
The article is titled, Transgender Ban Isn't Fair, Neither Is War.
If you know better, the first line is all you need to know about how this article is slanted in one direction.
The ban on transgender service that President Trump reaffirmed was there for eight years under Obama. It was there in his first term and his second term. And the media said nothing.
While this isn't untrue, the logic is convoluted because there's been a transgender ban for years, not just under President Obama. It was President Obama who broke that proverbial glass ceiling. It's true that no one said anything, because the media was not making this top priority. The media, liberal or conservative, still focuses on heteronormative news, not LGBTQ+ news. And for the record, no one talked about trans people. Trans people hid in dark corners on the fringes up until recently just like gays did. That's a fact and I'd like someone to try to dispute that for me.
In any event, the article goes on to slam Obama with more wet water, and then it says this:
45% of transgender persons in the 18 to 44 age range are suicidal. This is a serious risk for personnel who are around weapons or operating machinery or aircraft. If this were the only issue, it would be enough to justify the medical ban.
First, what about the rest of the trans people who aren't suicidal? Should they be banned, too? And there's a lot of mental illness out there with people who identify as heteronormative. Mental illness is not exclusive to trans people. So I would imagine that it only stands to reason that anyone entering the military should be evaluated by professionals first, and if they are rejected it's because of a physical or mental illness, not because they are transgender.
Plus, I hate to state the obvious here, but evidently some people need the obvious: who wouldn't be suicidal if they're banned from society? Those of you who disagree with me, think about that for a moment. Imagine living YOUR life in a state of constant shame. All you want to do is serve your country and you're not even allowed to do THAT now.
After this, the article then continues to dispute the Rand report with regard to how much money is spent on trans people in the military, but not very well. In fact, here's another excellent piece that supports the Rand report...a report that was commissioned by the Pentagon itself that states the medical cost is NOT as bad as Trump is saying. And I checked this in more than one place, and all agree.
The bottom line is that this article is trying to make this about identity politics, and that's not totally what it's about. It is to a certain extent, but this isn't something new. Obama didn't invent transgender people. Transgender people have been around since the beginning of time only no one ever spoke about them openly. Like gay men and lesbians, they've been hiding in shame all this time. A brand of shame that's been perpetuated by a heteronormative society who had no tolerance for them. J. Edgar Hoover could have been transgender for all we know. There are enough rumors and allegations still circulating about him.
It's really interesting to see how the article goes on to talk about dysfunction. Do they know that there have been gays in the military since the beginning of time? You just didn't know about them. Do they even bother to think that there have been transgender people in the military as well? They just didn't talk about it openly, because they couldn't talk about it openly. It's almost laughable to think that there are people who believe that being transgender in the military is something new.
Then there's this gem:
Once upon a time we understood that we were part of something greater. And that we could not achieve greatness without each other. Identity politics has shredded that sense of aspirational community. It has replaced it with the conviction that we are oppressed by each other.
Yeah, well once upon a time gays hid in the closet in shame or killed themselves, transgenders got the shit kicked out of them, and lesbians were called "old maids." Thank God that much has changed in the last decade or so. And thank God we're sick and tired of listening to this same old spin on wet water. Identity politics...if there is such a thing...hasn't shredded anything. And for the record we have, indeed, been oppressed by each other, especially the LGBTQ+ community. I'm not transgender, but I do know what it's like to get legally married in the state of Vermont, by a Vermont Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson, and then drive home from Vermont to the home where we've paid taxes for years only to not be recognized as legally married at the time. If that's not oppression, tell me what oppression is. I'd like to know.
They can spin and twist Trump's ban on trans people in the military any way they want, but it's just not holding up anymore. It might have worked ten or twenty years ago. But things are different now. Who doesn't have an LGBTQ+ relative, neighbor, boss, or uncle? Who doesn't have someone close to them who is part of the LGBTQ+ community? I'd like to meet you just so I can point out that you only think you don't know anyone LGBTQ+. Because I would bet anything that you know them, you just don't know about them...YET.