Transgender Ban in the Military

I am sure you all heard the news regarding our president’s tweet regarding how transgender individuals are banned from serving in the military.

Thankfully tweets are not executive orders and according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Joseph Dunford, “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance”.

Why this president does anything is beyond my comprehension, but the reasoning behind this statement relates to the financial burden that a transgender soldier would put on the American people.

First of all, this statement is not accurate.  According to The Atlantic, “The military has not historically covered gender-transition surgeries”.  The article cited goes on to explain that if the military did cover such operations, “That cost would be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually for transition-related costs, according to a RAND analysis commissioned by the Department of Defense. The group estimated there are between 1,320 and 6,630 active-duty transgender servicepeople currently. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2015 put the number at 12,800 people and $4.2 million to $5.6 million, concluding that “doctors agree that such care is medically necessary.”

This would be a military health-care spending increase of 0.04 to 0.13 percent. Even in the most extreme case, it is one tenth of the annual $84 million that the military spends on medication for erectile dysfunction.

Having a world leader make such inaccurate and damaging statements is scary enough, but this perpetuates the belief that transgender people are a burden of any sort, as well as the belief that all transgender people want to transition and undergo surgery.

This is disheartening, especially when it seems to me that we have made such large strides in the last few years and a statement like this just knocks us back. There’s not much we can do to stop people with a Twitter account making such inaccurate and misleading statements, but there’s always something we can to fight back against stereotypes and hatred.

We can sign many of the petitions online demanding that any such bad would be reversed.

Although signing a petition may seem like it has little impact it is encouraging to see so many people supporting our community.

We can donate to Outserve.  OutServe-SLDN is the association for actively serving LGBT military personnel and veterans. We are a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America’s military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

I am not making being transgender political.  Politicans are.  We just want to live our lives and not have our basic human rights diminished.  Being transgender, I believe, means being obligated to fighting back against hatred and stereotypes.  How anyone can be transgender and Republican in this political climate is beyond me.  How one can stand by an organization that, intentionally or not, makes such damaging statements is beyond my comprehension.  I know that standing by a political party is more than just its opinion on one issue, but this statement was damaging, wildly inaccurate and hurtful.

Being trans is a huge part of who I am.  I make decisions on where to eat and shop based on their stance on the LGBTQ community.  I will never eat at Chick-fil-A, for example.  Supporting an organization that has such a low opinion of who I am is not deserving of my money, my time or my vote.

Your perspective may vary.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Transgender Lobby Day

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The National Center for Transgender Equality is promoting next month’s Transgender Lobby Day and needs our support.  It’s taking place on June 8th and 9th in Washington DC, the same weekend they hold their Pride weekend.

If you can go, please go.  If you can’t attend, there are ways to have your voice heard in other ways.  For example, OutFront Minnesota is urging supporters to call their Senators and Representatives.

If you go, drop me a line.  I’d love to hear about your experience.

Love, Hannah

 

Proposed Minnesota Legislation Against the Transgender Community

44 MN House Republicans back ban on transgender employees using the bathroom

From thecolu.mn

A striking forty-four Republicans have cosponsored a bill in the Minnesota House that would block businesses and other employers from providing gender-neutral restrooms or from enacting policies that allow transgender employees to use appropriate restrooms. The bill, like one introduced in the Minnesota Senate on Friday, amends the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the nation’s first nondiscrimination law barring discrimination based on gender identity.

House committee hearing set for anti-transgender bill

From thecolu.mn

HF3396 will get a hearing in the Minnesota House Civil Law and Data Practices Committee on Thursday, March 31. The committee meeting starts at 8:15am in room 10 of the State Office Building.

HF3396 is a bill that targets Minnesota’s longstanding ban on discrimination based on gender identity, enacted in 1993. It would block gender-inclusive policies at school districts and local municipalities and force transgender people to use a restroom that does not correspond to their gender — putting many transgender people at risk for discrimination and violence, according to research at UCLA’s Williams Institute.

Every once in a while, someone sends me an email where the writer says that Republican’s don’t hate or discriminate against transpeople and I think about those emails when I read articles like this.  I wonder why 44 people, Republicans or otherwise, would care if a private business offered a gender-neutral restroom.  I also wonder why anyone could vote for a law that would reverse a ban on discrimination.

I hate reading news like this.

Love, Hannah

North Carolina’s Legislature Poised To Repeal ‘Bathroom Bill’

From NPR

North Carolina’s Legislature is poised to repeal the controversial “bathroom bill,” after the Charlotte City Council unanimously voted to repeal its local anti-discrimination measure.

The state law, called House Bill 2 or HB2, was passed in March as a direct response to that Charlotte measure — over the course of 12 hours, in the state’s first special legislative session in 35 years.

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This is wonderful news.  I was afraid that this law would set a precedent and other states would follow suit, especially with the incoming vice-president.  Bathroom laws change from state to state and change from time to time, so it is important you are aware of the laws and of your rights.  Bathroom laws are also, in my opinion, a way to gauge the public’s perception of us and a way for us to see what they think of us.  A law like this changing helps our community become a little more accepted.

Love, Hannah

UPDATED…

Repeal Of North Carolina’s HB2 Law Fails As Legislature Adjourns Special Session

From NPR

The North Carolina Legislature began a special session on Wednesday morning to vote on the repeal of a controversial state law that limits civil rights protections for LGBT people, but the effort failed by day’s end as the Legislature adjourned without passing any bill.

Read more here

Transgender Activist Runs for Minneapolis City Council

If elected, she would be the first transgender member of the council.

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Jenkins, a former policy aide for Glidden and veteran presence at City Hall, would be the first transgender member of the Minneapolis City Council if elected. Another transgender candidate, Phillipe Cunningham, is running for council in Ward 4.

“I am prepared and ready to bring positive change toward a more equitable Minneapolis,” Jenkins said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the residents of the 8th Ward, and beyond, in creating the policies and programs necessary to bring sustainable improvement for everyone in our economy, housing, and services.”

Read the full article here!

Love, Hannah

11 Transgender Americans Share Their Stories In HBO’s ‘The Trans List’

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NPR had a fascinating preview of the upcoming HBO documentary The Trans List

Directed by acclaimed portrait photographer and filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (HBO’s The Black List, The Out List and The Latino List, among others) and featuring interviews and an introduction by Janet Mock, The Trans List shines a light on prominent members of the transgender community.

Featuring such outspoken subjects as Kylar Broadus, Caroline Cossey, Amos Mac, Bamby Salcedo, Buck Angel, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Nicole Maines, Shane Ortega, Caitlyn Jenner, Alok Vaid-Menon and Laverne Cox, the film profiles this diverse group of 11 transgender individuals, telling their stories in their own words, addressing identity, family, career, love, struggle and accomplishment.

Simultaneously, The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles is presenting IDENTITY: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders The List Portraits, a special exhibition in which the renowned photographer’s List Series portfolios (The Black List, The Latino List, The Women’s List and The Out List) will be shown together for the first time, along with The Trans List portraits, through February 2017.

The Trans List was directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders; interviews by Janet Mock; executive producers, Ingrid Duran, Catherine Pino, Chad Thompson and Tommy Walker; producers, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Sam McConnell and Janet Mock; editor, Johanna Giebelhaus. For HBO: supervising producer, Lisa Heller; executive producer Sheila Nevins.