Note from Laurel: On 9/20 I invite you to join us for a moment of silence to honor our transgender brothers and sisters who, despite the repeal of DADT, are still forced to serve in silence. Let’s let them know that they are not forgotten and that we LGB people are as committed to their open service as they were to ours, and as we are to our own.
As Autumn said to me, “It would be very appropriate for celebrants of the day that lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers are finally able to serve openly remember for a moment that transgender servicemembers still won’t be able to serve openly. It would be very appropriate if organizations such as the SLDN, Servicemembers United, and the HRC publicly supported the idea of a moment of silence for the our transgender servicemembers who will still be required to serve in silence.”
The following is a guest post by the executive director of the Transgender American Veterans Association.
September 20, 2011 will go down as one of the most pivotal days in LGB history. On that day, gay, lesbian and bisexual service members will no longer have to hide their sexual orientation from the US military. LGB people will be allowed to enlist (or reenlist) in the military, and those already serving will be able to openly say who they love . . . if they wish to.
However, for the trans community, September 20 will be a bittersweet day. The “sweet” will be because we will all be thrilled to see another wall of discrimination crumble into history. We will celebrate along with our LGB brothers and sisters, and thank all of those who have served our country proudly. Our thanks will also go out to those who will step forward to join their ranks. Tears of joy will flow that day from all of us.
The “bitter” part comes when the celebration is over and trans people will still face discrimination from the US military. Trans service members will be ejected because the military says we have a “psychosexual condition,” which they put in the same category as “exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism, and other paraphilias.” No trans-identified person will be allowed to enlist for the same reason.
The Transgender American Veterans Association want to first congratulate all the people who worked tirelessly on getting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repealed and helped the Administration and the Department of Defense to smoothly integrate LGB people into the services. Our members worked alongside LGB people to put this terrible law to rest and we are proud to see our work not go in vain.
On this day of celebration, TAVA has one request for all of those who will be cheering and partying. We ask that everyone take a moment of silence to acknowledge that the fight is not over. A moment of silence for all of those trans people who will still face discharge when being outed. Take a moment to remember the trans people who gave their lives in silence to protect this country. TAVA stands in solidarity with our brothers and sister in celebrating this historical day. All we ask is for them to stand in solidarity with the trans community in our struggle to end ALL discrimination in the US military. The fight is not over.
To say that you or your organization will observe a moment of silence at a celebration on September 20 for trans service members, go to the Facebook Event page and click on “Attending.”
Cross-posted at Bilerico.