Ever since Donald Trump tweeted about the transgender military ban I've seen a lot of people joking around about the old TV show character from MASH, Maxwell Q. Klinger. Even though MASH is before my time, I've seen old reruns and that character always bothered me...to the point where it's often difficult to watch the reruns. I know it was meant to be funny, and it was funny for its time. My own mom did her college thesis on the TV show MASH. But the whole point behind that character is that Klinger purposely dressed up in women's clothing so he could get a discharge from the military, which is actually a good example of what we've been fighting for all these years.
The character's original defining characteristic was his continuous attempts to gain a Section 8 psychiatric discharge from the Army, by habitually wearing women's clothing and engaging in other "crazy" stunts. His first appearance was in the fourth episode, "Chief Surgeon Who?"; in that episode's original script, Klinger was an effeminate gay man, but the writers later agreed that it would be more interesting to have Klinger be heterosexual, but wear dresses in an attempt to gain a Section discharge.
You can read more about Klinger here. I'm not knocking MASH or the character. I'm glad there was a Klinger character so that I can reference it now. It was appropriate for its time and the subject matter was accurate. But those aren't times I'd like to relive, or even joke about now. And I don't blame our straight allies for joking about it. They'll never know what it's like to be banned or kept from something because an entire society considered them mentally ill. You have to live through that to understand the full magnitude of it. And that's exactly the way gays and trans people were treated in those days.
Joint Chiefs On Trump's Military Ban
Here's something that's at least slightly reassuring. It's something...for now.
There will be ‘no modifications’ to the US military’s transgender policy, the chairman of the joint chiefs said.
Marine General Joe Dunford had said, in a message to the top military officers, the armed forces will continue to ‘treat all of our personnel with respect’.
Yesterday President Donald Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving ‘in any capacity’.
The Pentagon or senior military officers were not aware of the announcement.
You can check this out here. Frankly, after this, I wouldn't trust anything from President Trump for the next three or so years he's in office. I've seen people compare this to DADT. Yes, DADT was awful. However, this was worse because this ban means Don't Tell, Ever. And what's even worse is that Trump did this after Trans people were allowed into the military. He just took that away from them in 140 characters on Twitter.
Trans Healthcare Cost Compared to US Viagra Budget
I have heard the comments about the cost of healthcare for trans people in weak attempts to make President Trump's horrible decision look viable, and so far I have seen facts and figures that dispute each one. And here's another.
Allure, which cites two different studies, one from the New England Journal of Medicine, and another commissioned by the Department of Defense, shows trans health care would cost the military between $2.4 and $8.4 million a year.
This would be 0.0014% of the military’s overall budget.
That is a tenth of the $84 million a year it spends on erectile dysfunction medication, half of which goes directly on Viagra.
There's more here.
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