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Ban transgender folks from military?

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Ban transgender folks from military?
Post by dscott8   » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:48 pm

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Trump has tweeted his intention to ban transgender people from military service. There are quite a few military veterans here, including myself, and I'd like to see a civil, fact-based discussion on whether transgender people should serve in the armed forces. Have at it.
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Re: Ban transgender folks from military?
Post by Annachie   » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:25 pm

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I think it's as simple as people with long term health issues, and Gender Dysphoria is a long term health issue of sorts, should be discouraged from joining the military in the first place, and limited to support roles until the issues are resolved.

That being said, there will always be the exceptional person that you'd let enlist regardless of any medical issues.

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Re: Ban transgender folks from military?
Post by Donnachaidh   » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:28 pm

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The cost argument doesn't hold up unless the US military is not bothering with actual treatment of gender dysphoria (which, sad to say, isn't out of the question).

http://www.businessinsider.com/pentagon-transgender-medical-comparison-2017-7

Regarding your argument on long term health issues, it's not that black and white plus there's the cultural issues in the military of anything that could be construed as weakness (e.g. PTSD or depression).

Gender dysphoria is something that is difficult to understand and accept before treatment, many people say that they just never felt quite "right" but never really knew why. To say that they "simply" shouldn't be in the military until it's "resolved" ignores how complex gender dysphoria and other long term health issues -both physical and mental- can (and are) and to what level they can be resolved.

Annachie wrote:I think it's as simple as people with long term health issues, and Gender Dysphoria is a long term health issue of sorts, should be discouraged from joining the military in the first place, and limited to support roles until the issues are resolved.

That being said, there will always be the exceptional person that you'd let enlist regardless of any medical issues.

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Re: Ban transgender folks from military?
Post by dscott8   » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:07 pm

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Annachie wrote:I think it's as simple as people with long term health issues, and Gender Dysphoria is a long term health issue of sorts, should be discouraged from joining the military in the first place, and limited to support roles until the issues are resolved.

That being said, there will always be the exceptional person that you'd let enlist regardless of any medical issues.

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Let's be clear in our terms. "Gender dysphoria" is not simply the state of being transgender. The American Psychiatric Association states that "gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder(emphasis added). The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition."

While I suspect that all transgender people have some level of discomfort with society's expected judgement of and reaction to them, not all of them experience "clinically significant" levels of distress. Most of them cope with it. Most live functional lives, and are capable of doing well in jobs, including military service.

Side note: One of my semester projects for my MBA class in Personnel Management was to work with a transgender telephone tech support person who wanted to transition at her workplace. I spent a lot of time getting to know her & the TG community, and built a case presentation that she took to her employer. She was allowed to work in her true female identity. One of the main points in that decision was that "he" was one of the best employees, and when "he" became "she" at work, she got even better.

The stress of gender dysphoria often comes from lack of acceptance, the strain of living a "double life" to earn a paycheck, and fears of losing a job if found out. Being allowed to transition at work lessened her stress and made her a better employee.
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Re: Ban transgender folks from military?
Post by Annachie   » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:37 pm

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An informed opinion.

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Re: Ban transgender folks from military?
Post by Fireflair   » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:13 pm

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I've always felt hat it doesn't much matter what the people around me are as far as gender identity, sexual orientation, etc. As an LPO in the Navy I was always far more concerned about them doing their job.

As when women came to the submarine service my concerns were practical. What happens when a woman gets pregnant, as is bound to occur? Where does my replacement body come from?

There are concerns about a tiny minority of people making other people uncomfortable in the work place because of being TG. As well as a majority making a minority uncomfortable. I would postulate that they should accept and move on. What the TG person does with their body is their business, not anyone elses so long as they can continue to perform their duties at an acceptable level. The majority who are not TG should continue to do their job as well.

Any discomfort they feel from having people who are TG around them seems akin to having a black and white person working next to each other. Different races might be uncomfortable working next to each other yet we expect different races to be professional and deal with it. To work side by side without complications. The same standard should be applied to gender/gender identity or sexual identity.
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Re: Ban transgender folks from military?
Post by Eyal   » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:19 am

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This experiment has in fact been done. There are a number of NATO (and other) militaries which allow transgender soldiers to serve - I think Canada, for example, has allowed that since the late 90s. How is their experience?
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Re: Ban transgender folks from military?
Post by Michael Everett   » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:38 am

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Although I see no moral problems with TG people in the military, there are some physical issues, especially in regards to those who have undergone male-to-female transformation (and I must point out that the problems apply just as much, if not more, to the non-TG female personnel).
Combat rape/torture.
Front-line personnel are the ones at the greatest risk of capture by the enemy and some of those seeking military/terrorist superiority (the State-formerly-calling-itself-Islamic-State being a good example) don't sign up to the same set of beliefs regarding combat personnel as countries which are less reliant on theocratic/dictatorial control. TSFCIIS, for example, executed captured prisoners in a variety of horrifying ways and broadcast them on the internet. Had they captured any female soldiers, they would have tried to break them via rape and torture, attempting to turn them into the obedient baby-making machines that was all they saw women as.
If they had captured a male-turned-female? And knew it?
It would have made the Punishment from Safehold look tame...

I am not arguing that females and TG personnel should not serve in the Armed Forces, but I do believe that they should be fully informed of the extra risks that they take in certain theaters of war.
Not everyone believes that males and females are equal.
And much as many would like to deny it, some truly believe that anyone not of their country/tribe/clan is not human and can therefore be treated as badly as they wish.
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Re: Ban transgender folks from military?
Post by The E   » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:04 am

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Using "Our enemies may do bad things to you" as an excuse not to let someone who is able and willing to serve in a frontline role (or as a tool to discourage them from doing so) is pathetic. Noone joins the military (especially not the US military) to be safe.

Also, here's a thing to consider. Military service is one of the great equalizers in american society. For women, LGBT folk and members of other minorities, military service is a way to gain acceptance in society that would otherwise be hard to come by; it's a way to gain entry into a powerful support network both while in the service as well as once you leave it.

This is such a powerful incentive that there are currently an estimated 134000 veterans or retired from Guard or Reserve duties and an estimated 15000 active duty (or serving in guard or reserve forces) transgender individuals (Source).

Further reading: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your- ... -military/
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Re: Ban transgender folks from military?
Post by Daryl   » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:39 am

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What puzzles me is why? Why did he decide this without any consultation or planning? Was he convinced by one of his inner circle, or just had his own brain fart?
While this by itself is not a totally over the top serious issue(unless you or your family are among the 15k affected) it does signal quite impulsive decision making. I'm wondering if I shouldn't start thinking like a prepper.
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