YAY! DADT is dead. Unless of course you’re transgendered
While we’re all busy shoveling the dirt in the DADT’s grave, alot of attention isn’t being given to the fact that if you’re transgendered in the military you got the fuzzy side of the lollipop on this whole deal. The way the law was written, it covers sexual orientation – not gender identity.
Worse still, celebutant and self appointed expert on everything gay Dan Savage took to the airwaves to announce last night that – more or less – everybody under the rainbow can bust open the closet door and c’mon out:
Instead, Dan Savage goes on the airwaves and starts to talk in totally inclusive terms about how this is such a great occasion for GLB & T people. He may be right about all GLBT people being happy to see the end of DADT. But then he goes on to state that it, by association, directly affects transgender people affected by the repeal. My question is…what the heck was he thinking anyway?
What Dan Savage actually did in saying what he said, is to endanger the positions of every transgender person who is presently serving in the military today, and there are plenty of them. He actually stated that up to 40% of GLBT people will be coming out to others they serve with, within the next few weeks. He included transgender people as being positively affected by DADT on at least four separate occasions.
This could have disastrous effects on transgender people who may not know the difference and might be so misinformed as to heed what Dan Savage said seriously and decide to come out of their closet. The end result would be immediate dismissal from the military.
Based on the existing Uniform Code of Military Justice, combined with the erroneous belief that DSM IV, which states that being trans is a mental disorder, similar to how they described being gay back in the 80′s, transgender people get discharged immediately. Unknown to Dan Savage, transgender people were never even mentioned in DADT, either on purpose or by mistake, it makes no difference, Transgender people serving in the military are just as much victims of discrimination today in the military, as gays were yesterday.
Somebody, if you’re close to Dan Savage, reach over and slap him in the head for me and tell him to wake up. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, either ask, or just keep quiet.
This is an inexcusable and totally irresponsible statement made by a so called GLBT national leader and inventor of the “It Gets Better” philosophy. He should know better than to appear on a national television show and endanger the positions and lives of transgender service members. As well as misinforming the general public, thus making everyone believe that it is “any better” for transgender people because DADT is now a part of our GLB history. I can hear it now when we next go to lobby in DC…..”But I thought Dan Savage said on MSNBC, that transgender people in the military were protected now.”
Sorry Dan, but while you might have had my respect in the past, you definitely lost it all, by being so misinformed and ignorant about transgender people. You have compounded the loss of my respect by airing your lack of knowledge on a national television show.
When Rachael Maddow came on her show next, she also applauded the repeal of DADT with a special segment and not once did she say that transgender people were included in the repeal. Congratulations Rachael on doing your usual superb job of investigating and reporting accurately on the subject matter. Now how about a special segment on why trans people are still not protected? Apparently Dan Savage never got the same memos you did.
Pretty glaring misstep on his part, and more of a reason that we really should be checking the CV of those we appoint as our gay mascots. Photogenic appeal and a foul mouth aren’t the best qualities to look for in order to pin a mike on someone and get them talking about LGBT issues.
The bottom line is that if you’re transgendered in the military, you got hosed thanks to a clerical oversight. It’s not safe, and if you have ANY questions on what to do or not do, please seek a responsible resource like SLDN, not a talking head making the rounds on the evening news.