'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Isn't Over For Transgender People In The Military
March 18, 2015 #gay #lgbt
By AlexKelst

In 2011, the U.S. military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" regarding LGBT people was repealed with much cheer and celebration among people in and supporting the LGBT community. After the repeal, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people could legally serve openly and honestly in the military. This had many positive effects, including everything from potential monetary benefits for partners of those serving as well as social acceptance. 

What many didn't realize was that the repeal of that policy only applied to the first three letters of 'LGBT' - that is, transgender people were not included. According to a recent report by CBS News, the ban on service by openly transgender people continues "because because it is based on military medical regulations put in place before the American Psychiatric Association declared, in 2013, that being transgender is not in itself a mental disorder." Since this was after the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, the policy has yet to be updated to apply to transgender people.

Command Sergeant Major Landon Wilson, the focus of the CBS News report, served in Afghanistan. He is transgender - born biologically female but lives as a male. While he was being reviewed for promotion at the end of 2013, Landon's transgender identity was discovered by his commanding officer. He was subsequently honorably discharged and forced to leave the military.

While President Obama issued an executive order last July prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity, this decree does not apply to the US military.

Transgender acceptance in the military is a necessary step toward overall transgender acceptance in our society. The discrimination against all LGBT needs to stop, and this certainly includes the 'T' for transgender people as well.

(If the video embed below doesn't work follow the link to the CBS News page to watch the report!)

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