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Groups: DADT Repeal Doesn’t Affect Transgender Troops

with 3 comments

Even though the law banning openly-gay military service will OFFICIALLY be lifted Tuesday, LGBT rights advocates are reminding TRANSGENDER troops that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal does NOT apply to them.

The military can still discharge trans servicemembers if they publicly acknowledge their gender identity, or if they’ve had sex-reassignment surgery or Gender Identity Disorder. They can also be reprimanded for acting or dressing in ways that don’t match gender stereotypes.

Mara Keisling is the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. She tells OutQ News that her organization is working with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. The groups want to inform trans military personnel about what they should do and what might happen if they come out regardless of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ repeal.

While Keisling says she’s “thrilled” about next week’s repeal date, she says it looks like transgender advocates will still have to go through another “decades-long process” to eliminate trans military discrimination.

KEISLING: Transgender service people and veterans need to step forward and teach American that transgender people are already in the military, they are serving honorably and well, and they should be permitted to serve openly.

Keisling says she does NOT think the Pentagon is “seriously looking” at this issue. Which is why she’s calling on some of the same people who worked on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal to come together with a new group of activists to lobby for an end to trans military discrimination.


3 Responses

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  1. Thank you for reporting this story on OutQ. FYI – We have several transgendered veterans on – the gay military social network. Hopefully transgendered Americans will be welcomed to serve very soon.

    OutMilitary (@outmilitary)

    September 16, 2011 at 9:58 AM

  2. Interesting . . . Hiding being gay is one thing, hiding being transgendered is another one. Perhaps the worse or more dangerous of these scenarios is not as much as how the brass manages these issues but how the troops react when exposed to them. Even if ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ would be repealed.


    September 17, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    • Oh why is it always about how the troops will react? they dont have a say when mandated to behave in a set way handed down to them by order of the us govt. i was in the infantry when i was younger and now im transitioning.. I wish i had done it so much earlier. but im sure the mind set back in the 80s was a world apart from where we are today.. if you can have units with mixed gender then you can have transgender.
      any MOS not requiring you to be male is open for discussion or at least should be. how is it so ok for people to say Im gay but cannot say hey i identify with the opposing gender?.

      more ignorance from military lawmakers.

      Melissa Bonet

      April 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM

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