In his typical, professional megaphone, 45 wrote:
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming..victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
This is grossly ridiculous and laughable for a few reasons that have been featured in several articles around the internet.
I’m not here to focus on 45’s spouting off, or those that commented on thread after thread afterwards. I’m not here to argue if being transgender is a psychological disorder, a “phase,” a choice, or any of that.
Gender dysphoria – as a general descriptive term refers to an individual’s discontent with the assigned gender. It is more specifically defined when used as a diagnosis.
Transgender – refers to the broad spectrum of individuals who transiently or persistently identify with a gender different from their gender at birth. (Note: the term transgendered is not generally used.)
Transsexual – refers to an individual who seeks, or has undergone, a social transition from male to female or female to male. In many, but not all, cases this also involves a physical transition through cross-sex hormone treatment and genital surgery (sex reassignment surgery).
Furthermore, I recognize that the DSM-5 is only one source…and knowledge about the source would help the reader realize that there are previous editions of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), implying/confirming that there has been change and evolution in the diagnoses and identification of mental disorders.
All that being said, in case there was any doubt, I’m here in support of mental health, the LGTBQ community, the United States Armed Forces, and most importantly: tolerance and respectful communication.
I attended California State University, Long Beach for my junior and senior years of undergrad and I think back to a particular interaction that involved discussing my time in the military and my opinion of DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell).
First month of the school year, the teacher is a white male, mid to late forties, and the class is focused on reading and discussing plays. One of the plays on the syllabus was Edward Albee’s, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? In leading up to this play’s unit, the class discussion took a sharp turn when the teacher posed an unorthodox question to us. He asked a couple of us in the class, “Do you think I’m gay?”
Aside from the fact that this was (for lack of a better word), weird to bring up, and even moreso, unnecessary, and uncomfortable for a few, it took us all by surprise. The thought process was spoken aloud by several of us in the classroom: the teacher was a male with a musical theatre background, teaching a theatre class at a state school in California. He wears no wedding ring, and now he’s intentionally asking his students whom he has just met that semester if they think he is a homosexual. Realizing this may be a double-bluff, trick question, (and also unsure if however we answer may be held against us) we refuse to answer and he outs himself proudly as a gay male.
At this point he brings up my military background and essentially asks if when I’m “in the foxhole” if I’m worried about being accosted by the guy next to me if he happens to be gay.
“Uhhh no, because I’ve got more important things to do,” is essentially my answer. Furthermore, I can’t speak for the entire military, or really anyone else but myself, and if you really want an honest answer, I wasn’t ever in a foxhole since I served on a submarine…in engineering.
And I’m going to share with you, just like I shared with him…probably in more detail.
If I’m hundreds of feet below sea level and the shit hits the fan, no, I’m not worried about if the guy next to me is gonna try and fuck me or suck my dick, or whatever. In fact, having that thought has nothing to do with his sexual orientation. And even if it did…I wouldn’t be having that thought or wondering about that. Why? Because I’m trying to do my fucking job (which has nothing to do with sodomy or anal sex), and I trust that he is also trying to do his. Whether you’re heterosexual, homosexual, asexual, pansexual, whatever you identify as…being transgender, cisgender, transexual, homosexual, or whatever does NOT make you any more or less capable of doing a job, completing a mission, or…staying “focused on decisive and overwhelming victory.”
If the guy (whether cis or FTM) is attracted to me or not, I also trust that consent is a real thing and that if he did want to approach me in any way, he may do so in a way that is rational, mature, respectful, and consensual.
Or are we perpetuating the misogynistic, animalistic, carnal urges, that force us to execute “sexual relations” to the point of not being able to have lunch with someone of the opposite sex without feeling like a creep.
Respect has no gender identity, race, creed, religion, or any of that. Consent doesn’t either.
What people are saying when they say Muslims shouldn’t travel and transgenders shouldn’t serve, and [demographic other than mine] shouldn’t [activity I am privileged to do and/or capable of] is really, “you’re different and I’m gonna wear earmuffs.”
GTFOH AND GET OVER YOURSELF YOU MEAN MEAN MEANIES.
By the way, three is an expected quantity in many cultures, but I know it’s definitely expected by Americans: three strikes, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Moe, Larry, and Curly, BLT, TLC, BBD, OPP, ILY, LOL, FML, etc.
So here’s a third entry from the DSM-5:
“Narcissistic personality disorder: a pattern of need for admiration and lack of empathy for others. A person with narcissistic personality disorder may have a grandiose sense of self-importance, a sense of entitlement, take advantage of others or lack empathy.”