Transfolk are Now Banned from the Military

As of today, President Trump has signed an order banning transgender folks from the military.

What’s next for people like me? Banning us from bathrooms, restaurants, grocery stores, and hospitals? Where will it stop? And which group is next on the list?

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First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

~Martin Niemoller

Transgender, the Military, and Ignorant Donald Trump…

phucker2

I’m usually quiet on matters of transgender people, even though I am one. I like to work one-on-one, by being a decent human being and caring person. I also want to be seen as a multi-dimensional person.

But I cannot stay silent on President Trump’s latest declaration that transgender people are unfit to serve. This from a draft dodger who took five deferments to avoid Vietnam.  His final draft status: 4-F (Unfit to Serve).  My final draft status for Vietnam: 1-A (Active / Fit to Serve). The irony is delicious.

  1. Donald Trump is wrong about transgender in the military. Just like in the 40’s when arguments against blacks being integrated hurt unit cohesion. Just like in the 80’s and 90’s when arguments about women in combat zones would hurt unit cohesion. Just like in the 90’s and 00’s when arguments against gays would hurt unit cohesion. These are the arguments of fear mongers, racists, misogynists, homophobes, and idiots. There is no data to support their claims. It is old identity politics. It’s stupid, asinine, and fear based on ignorance. America should be better than this.Gays, women, people of color, transgender folk have always served in the US military. They just couldn’t be open about it. But they’ve always been there, for as long as there has been a United States of America.

2. Medical costs on transgender are not “tremendous”, despite Donald Trump’s claims. Medical treatment for trans folk is not cheap, but, it is, in fact, cheaper than going to the ER for multiple complex fractures and injuries from a car accident; far cheaper than treating cancer; and slightly more expensive than gallbladder removal or a hysterectomy.   The one-time costs on surgery range anywhere from $17,000 to $85,000 depending on the surgeon and the location. Hormones are relatively inexpensive, depending upon the method: pill, patch, or injection. Electrolysis / laser hair removal is $100-$200 per hour and usually comes out of trans person’s own pocket.

Other surgeries, such as plastic surgery, are also deemed by insurance companies as optional, so that comes out of our own pockets as well. Ongoing medical costs are typical, as you would normally expect, for any average American woman or man in the long term.

3. As Barry Goldwater once said, “”you don’t need to be ‘straight’ to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.

4. If anyone is unfit to serve, it is you, Donald Trump. And you prove it every time you open your mouth.

5. You attacked me, my patriotism, my loyalty, and my humanity. Surely you don’t expect me to roll over and play dead now?

6. I’m now in the “great game”. You’ve pissed me off. And millions of decent Americans are not going to put up with this chit.

I will fight because I’ve had to for the past 20 years to exist. I don’t want to fight. But I will. I, and people like me, have a right to live in peace and not be harassed by ignorant phucks like you, Donald Trump.

Go to hell.

 

A Barrier Drops for Military Women [nytimes.com]

A small but important provision of the military budget bill just signed by President Obama ends a longstanding act of discrimination against women who serve in America’s military.

Offered by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, the provision lifts a statutory ban on giving female service members insurance coverage for abortions in cases of rape and incest. Since 1988, military health plans have paid for abortions only when a pregnancy endangers a women’s life.

That policy was all the more unjustifiable given the serious and continuing problem of sexual assault among service members, and in light of the more respectful treatment accorded civilians who work for the federal government or rely on Medicaid. These nonsoldiers are allowed to use their government insurance to pay for abortions in cases of rape as well as in life-threatening situations.

The new provision does not end the difficulty that military women have in accessing safe abortion care. Next, Congress and the administration must end another longstanding restriction that prevents servicewomen from obtaining abortions at military hospitals and clinics, even if the women pay the bill. Current law bans abortions at military facilities, except in instances of rape or incest, or when a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life.

The rule is a special hardship for servicewomen stationed in foreign countries, particularly in a war zone like Afghanistan. Women serving overseas should have the same basic health care that other American women enjoy and should not have to risk their health, privacy or future career advancement in order to exercise a constitutionally protected right.

Two New York Democrats, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Louise Slaughter, will soon be reintroducing legislation to allow women to obtain abortions on military bases with private funds. It asks members of Congress to stop burdening soldiers with ideological restrictions on their health care.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/opinion/a-barrier-drops-for-military-women.html?_r=0

Gay Soldier Heartbreakingly Comes Out to His Father on YouTube [gawker.com]

by Brian Moylan / Gawker

To celebrate the end of the military’s banagainst openly gay servicemembers, a gay soldier stationed in Germany decided to come out to his family and the world in the most public way possible: by recording a video and posting it on the internet. It’s the sweetest thing we’ve seen in a long time.

The soldier, known as AreYouSuprised, has been running a YouTube page and a Twitter account where he openly discussed being gay in the military, but wouldn’t show his face (though he showed off just about everything else). Now he’s coming out to the world.

Anyone who has ever come out—or told a parent any secret—knows the nerves and uncertainty our soldier feels at the beginning of the video before he dials the phone. When his father in Alabama answers it’s excruciating to watch him work up to telling him the big news, but when he finally does, his father’s support is enough to bring tears to the eyes of even a cold-hearted bastard such as myself. Naturally, the soldier’s dad is more concerned with his son drinking too much at Oktoberfest than that he’s gay.

This is better than most “It Gets Better” videos and is a fitting requiem to the military’s exclusionary and senseless policy. And our newly-out soldier’s inbox better brace itself for the onslaught of well-wishes and requests for dates. Back off, boys. I’m first in line.

http://gawker.com/5842137/gay-soldier-heartbreakingly-comes-out-to-his-father-on-youtube