Transgenders Say Hoorah

fkagThe LGBTQ Community has been in the spotlight for a few weeks now in various media outlets. Whether it is about the Orlando Shooting, denial of blood donations from gay people, or now the military lift of the ban on transgender soldiers, this community is serving up quite the conversation. Lifting the ban is a particularly hot topic right now because after a yearlong battle to remove the ban, it was passed at the Pentagon on Thursday. Before this was passed Transgender people could be denied duty, be released based on sexual orientation, and did not receive the same medical treatments. In the few hours since its passing, many opinions and information has circled the web. Some believe this ban is a terrible idea and will pose a big safety threat; others are celebrating the long battle and journey to get to this consensus. Lifting the ban on Trans-genders so they will be allowed to serve in the military and not be fired for the gender identity alone is an overall good change and will help our Community’s get stronger.

 

We are all familiar with the Militaries strong “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy when it came to gay military personal, but as our social world changed, President Obama lifted this policy in 2011. Now openly gay members can serve on any position and rank. Just take Eric Fanning for example who is the first gay Army Secretary, meaning he is the militaries first gay leader. This community of gay, bisexual, and transgendered soldiers makes up any where from 2,000-15,000 of our military members. This is a rather large portion so having laws and policies in place to protect them is extremely important.

The policy in place will take effect immediately starting today. No transgender personal serving can be fired for being trans, no transgender can be turned away from serving as long as they meet the other military standard requirements, and it allows transgenders to have access to the same medical and health benefits as every other soldier. Each branch has one year to implement the changes in full.

The Pentagon is defending its actions to lift this band, because at the end of the day the Military is looking for the most qualified people out their and banning an entire section of our population would not be withholding that standard. There are some standards that must be met by each transgender signing up to join the military. Later on in time, they can receive the same medical treatment as the other soldiers and potentially get medically reconstructive surgery paid for if the doctors assessments see that is the most fit decision in order to successfully serve. They will all receive their daily medications and hormone doses as well.images

However some are still concerned that our Government is not paying attention to its policies once again, but merely playing in the game of politics. Big social change is among us in this era from the legalization of gay marriages, to pot, our county and policies are feeling the pressure to reform and meet what the public is asking for. Some critics’ say that this policy will only further enact violence in the military community and focus more on global oppression. Trans women, especially of color, are under a lot of harassment and have one of the highest murder rates among the LGBTQ community. This makes them a huge target in our military as well and may lead some cases to brutality escalate. Another problem that may rise is transphobia, which is already an epidemic in some professions and areas. Just because the policies have changed and the government welcomes trans people to serve does not mean that all military members will welcome them as well, which can then lead to personal conflict. Adding them into this community may further the problem instead of challenging it to go away. The overall unpredictability makes congress still seemingly uncertain. Because of the open policy and removal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy this may enact more violence within the military community or even between our military personal and general public.

There are hopefuls out there that side with the Pentagons decision to lift the ban because they feel it will help to make social change and our military stronger. This unique community of transgender military personal has been long awaiting this news so they can finally settle and work towards a more normal life in the military. Before the lift, this ban allowed transgender soldiers to be let go off duty solely for being transgender, which is huge discrimination. This new policy now protect this community and ensures them the same rights as any other person serving for our country.

Lots of new policies and training will commence following this lift. New medical procedures need to be taught to ensure proper care and treatment in the facilities for all trans people. As well as general briefing and training for all other personal. Doctors will assess each case on a see fit bases. Some basic requirements to receive the gender reconstructive surgery include being stably identified with their gender for at least 18 months and their doctor must certify that. They must also have gone through all the medications their previous doctor deemed necessary and will continue to follow whatever prescriptions or medications necessary afterwards.download

All in all, the lift of the transgender ban for out US military will help move social change in a positive way. It finally allows the people in the LGBTQ community to actively serve in out military and receive all of the medical treatment and care that they need, free of cost. The military is always looking for the most reliable people in our community to actively serve and protect the American people. Our transgender community is full of great people that can truly make a difference in serving our country. Trans people make up a large portion of the people in uniform so it is important to honor and respect them as any other. Although some believe the ban will enact violence and negativity towards the military in general, if we remain positive, educate our public, and continue talking about the issues at hand we can reduce this too. Positive changes toward protecting our people will ensure we are living among the safest and compassionate countries.

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