In case our readers don’t know, both Her and I take turns finding topics and doing research for those topics. We also NEVER, EVER tell each other what that topics going to be. So, imagine my surprise when I saw that there were some nice questions to answer for this weeks topic!
Before you I answer those questions though, I’m going to give my two cents worth, as I’m prone to do. I was only two years old when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) was passed in 1992, so I don’t remember when it happened. What I do remember was seeing news about DADT on t.v. over the years, I was never really interested because, honestly, I never once entertained the possibility of my joining the military.
On to the Questions: “So, for Him and Her, what do you think of the repeal and the initial implementation? Do you think gay/lesbian/bisexual service members will feel safe enough to serve openly, or do you think there will always be some caution due to the past? Also, branching off from sexual orientation, do you think that the same rights of serving will ever be given to transgender individuals?”
1. My thoughts surrounding the repeal, when it happened, can be summed up simply with, “About fucking time.” I mean, if someone wants to serve his/her country they should be able to serve it openly. They should be able to serve without fear of reprimand if someone should ever find out they are gay. I mean, if someone is willing to risk their life for all of us, shouldn’t they be able to live that life openly and without fear?
The initial implementation makes me a little sick to my stomach at this point in my life. I’m very much more informed about human rights and individual freedoms. The idea that congress thought it was a good idea to place these restrictions on ANYONE, much less gay LGBTQ people, is staggering.
2. I know people who are in the military, several people actually. Most of them are straight, and I think thats important because i’ve asked them in the past how they felt about DADT. Almost every time those straight men and women said the same thing, or something very much like it, “I don’t care what you do in the bedroom as long as I know you’ve got my back and are going to keep me from getting killed.”
The few gay/lesbian/bi people I’ve spoken to seem to feel like they’re able to be themselves…and not fear any real negative feedback. From the outside looking in it seems like the Repeal of DADT came not with a bang, but rather a resounding, “Meh.”
3. This is my least favorite question because it points out that while the repeal of DADT is a great success for the LGB and Q demographics in the military, the T, which stands for Transgendered, has been left out. Again. Which is bullshit. I’m sure that someday things will change, and until then, heres what the American Psychological Association has to say about Transgendered individuals:
A psychological state is considered a mental disorder only if it causes significant distress or disability. Many transgender people do not experience their gender as distressing or disabling, which implies that identifying as transgender does not constitute a mental disorder. For these individuals, the significant problem is finding affordable resources, such as counseling, hormone therapy, medical procedures, and the social support necessary to freely express their gender identity and minimize discrimination. Many other obstacles may lead to distress, including a lack of acceptance within society, direct or indirect experiences with discrimination, or assault. These experiences may lead many transgender people to suffer with anxiety, depression, or related disorders at higher rates than nontransgender persons.
In the United States, payment for health care treatment by insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid must be for a specific “disorder,” defined as a condition within the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). According to DSM-IV, people who experience intense, persistent gender incongruence can be given the diagnosis of gender identity disorder. This diagnosis is highly controversial among some mental health professionals and transgender communities. Some contend that the diagnosis inappropriately pathologizes gender noncongruence and should be eliminated. Others argue that it is essential to retain the diagnosis to ensure access to care.