Panel Recommends Obama Lift Transgender Military Service Ban

An independent panel convened by a think tank at San Francisco State University and led by former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders (pictured) and Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, recommends lifting the current ban on transgender service members and says Obama could lift it without congressional approval, the AP reports:

EldersThe report said Department of Defense regulations designed to keep transgender people from joining or remaining in the military on the grounds of psychological and physical unfitness are based on outdated beliefs that require thousands of current service members either to leave the service or to forego the medical procedures and other changes that could align their bodies and gender identities.

"We determined not only that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban, but also that the ban itself is an expensive, damaging and unfair barrier to health care access for the approximately 15,450 transgender personnel who serve currently in the active, Guard and reserve components," said the commission…

Thee report from the commission is to be released today.

The commission argued that facilitating gender transitions "would place almost no burden on the military," adding that a relatively small number of active and reserve service members would elect to undergo transition-related surgeries and that only a fraction might suffer complications that would prevent them from serving. It estimated that 230 transgender people a year would seek such surgery at an average cost of about $30,000.

A Defense Department spokesman told the AP there are no current plans to change the department's policy.

Comments

  1. says

    GOOD. What will this mean? Before any ninnies freak out, remember that country named “CANADA”? it’s, like, sorta North? well, we’ve had our country’s brave LGBT *AND* T citizens openly serving since 1992.

    so, yeah. get on it.

  2. Mikey says

    Jesus, has it really been since 1992? Why the fuh has my country been so backasswards for so long?

    And I’m gonna preemptively send some glares to the foaming mouth anti-trans posters inevitably about to hit ‘post.’

  3. rjinva says

    Just let me add another positive comment. This is something long overdue. There is nothing about “trans” that makes one less able.

  4. BABH says

    Yes!

    There’s very real and growing support in the Pentagon for trans inclusion. The armed forces for some reason (oh wait, this is exactly why!) continue to use DSM 3 as their manual for mental health. It was published in 1980. All other doctors in America use DSM 5, published in 2013, in which gender dysphoria is no longer classified as a disorder.

    Military doctors want to update to the 21st century, and more and more military and civilian policymakers are coming around too.

  5. Jason Deterio says

    Ooooh, a panel from San Francisco State U. declares that trannies should serve. The panel has no actual generals on it. It has a surgeon general – actually loud mouth civilian who served in a largely ceremonial position relating to public health 20 years ago. The “rear admiral” mentioned is actually retired and was formerly a health and safety director for the Coast Guard. These heavy weights will carry a lot of weight with the Pentagon. Lol!

    As for the “findings” they are as pathetic as the panel itself. The armed forces do not need a “compelling medical reason” to ban trannies. All they need is some legitimate reason. And the increased expense related to trannies’ gender dysphorias is reason enough. Not to mention the need to monitor ongoing medical procedures and the mental health risks associated with hormone therapy. We won’t even get into the fact that 71% of trannies kill themselves or attempt to.

    The panel also whines that denying tranny service impedes tranny access to health care. So what? The US military’s mission is not to provide health care to transsexuals and crossdressers. This panel of 2 health professionals and no military professionals from the 3 major branches of the armed forces is a joke.

  6. Debs says

    Srsly, this is so far out there it is not even funny.

    BTW, do they even define what transgender is? Does it include the entire zoo of weirdness? Transsexuals, hermaphrodites, genderqueers who change gender every day, the ones who claim to have no gender, the ones who demand to be referred to as “they”, the ones who demand to be referred to as “zie” and “zir”, etc. Letting this circus of mental illness anywhere near a military uniform is a disaster waiting to happen.

    The most the military should do is agree to consider waivers for specific individuals who have special skills or who serve in specific roles where they can be useful.

  7. Vera says

    I agree, the panel is a joke, and fails to bring up the reason why trangendered individuals are bared from military service. Gender Identity Disorder is still classified as a disorder according to the DSM and just about every psychological/medical/psychiatric apparatus. It is this same definition of ‘disorder’ that allows transgendered individuals access to their treatments under the pretense of treatment for that disorder. If it was declassified as an illness, then hormone treatments, sex reassignment surgery, etc. would no longer be considered valid under most insurance policies same as a boob job would not be.

    It’s a give and take, serve in the military? Or get better/cheaper access to care?

  8. Derrick from Philly says

    JASON & DEBS,

    there are already Transgender and Transsexual doing service in the US Military–doing their jobs. You want to discharge them?

  9. Adam F. says

    Debs, nice post but you totally forgot that the transgender circus tent also includes the people calling themselves neutrois.

    These neutrois people, who Jocelyn Elders would certainly tell us are completely healthy and normal, think of themselves as a “gender null class” and essentially want to castrate themselves to make themselves agender.

    From Gender Wiki:

    “Patients who are neutrois or null-gendered may be either male-assigned or female-assigned, and either intersex or dyadic. Many have gender dysphoria very much like that of transsexuals. . . . The preoccupation with self-castration or mutilation of the genitals is sometimes referred to as Skoptic syndrome, but this syndrome refers to attention paid only the genitals and primarily in males, while neutrois may have significant dysphoria due to the presence of secondary sex characteristics such as breasts, body hair, lowered vocal pitch and rounded hips.”

    We simply must populate the military with these healthy, well-balanced people! If we don’t let them serve, they will be denied access to taxpayer funded surgeons to perform the castrations. It’s an outrage! Gay people have nothing better to do, so we should put all our time, money and effort into making this happen! Long live LGBT!

  10. Adam F. says

    Debs, nice post but you totally forgot that the transgender circus tent also includes the people calling themselves neutrois.

    These neutrois people, who Jocelyn Elders would certainly tell us are completely healthy and normal, think of themselves as a “gender null class” and essentially want to castrate themselves to make themselves agender.

    From Gender Wiki:

    “Patients who are neutrois or null-gendered may be either male-assigned or female-assigned, and either intersex or dyadic. Many have gender dysphoria very much like that of transsexuals. . . . The preoccupation with self-castration or mutilation of the genitals is sometimes referred to as Skoptic syndrome, but this syndrome refers to attention paid only the genitals and primarily in males, while neutrois may have significant dysphoria due to the presence of secondary sex characteristics such as breasts, body hair, lowered vocal pitch and rounded hips.”

    We simply must populate the military with these healthy, well-balanced people! If we don’t let them serve, they will be denied access to taxpayer funded surgeons to perform the castrations. It’s an outrage! Gay people have nothing better to do, so we should put all our time, money and effort into making this happen! Long live LGBT!

  11. Adam F. says

    Debs, nice post but you totally forgot that the transgender circus tent also includes the people calling themselves neutrois.

    These neutrois people, who Jocelyn Elders would certainly tell us are completely healthy and normal, think of themselves as a “gender null class” and essentially want to castrate themselves to make themselves agender.

    From Gender Wiki:

    “Patients who are neutrois or null-gendered may be either male-assigned or female-assigned, and either intersex or dyadic. Many have gender dysphoria very much like that of transsexuals. . . . The preoccupation with self-castration or mutilation of the genitals is sometimes referred to as Skoptic syndrome, but this syndrome refers to attention paid only the genitals and primarily in males, while neutrois may have significant dysphoria due to the presence of secondary sex characteristics such as breasts, body hair, lowered vocal pitch and rounded hips.”

    We simply must populate the military with these healthy, well-balanced people! If we don’t let them serve, they will be denied access to taxpayer funded surgeons to perform the castrations. It’s an outrage! Gay people have nothing better to do, so we should put all our time, money and effort into making this happen! Long live LGBT!

  12. Adam F. says

    Debs, nice post but you totally forgot that the transgender circus tent also includes the people calling themselves neutrois.

    These neutrois people, who Jocelyn Elders would certainly tell us are completely healthy and normal, think of themselves as a “gender null class” and essentially want to castrate themselves to make themselves agender.

    From Gender Wiki:

    “Patients who are neutrois or null-gendered may be either male-assigned or female-assigned, and either intersex or dyadic. Many have gender dysphoria very much like that of transsexuals. . . . The preoccupation with self-castration or mutilation of the genitals is sometimes referred to as Skoptic syndrome, but this syndrome refers to attention paid only the genitals and primarily in males, while neutrois may have significant dysphoria due to the presence of secondary sex characteristics such as breasts, body hair, lowered vocal pitch and rounded hips.”

    We simply must populate the military with these healthy, well-balanced people! If we don’t let them serve, they will be denied access to taxpayer funded surgeons to perform the castrations. It’s an outrage! Gay people have nothing better to do, so we should put all our time, money and effort into making this happen! Long live LGBT!

  13. says

    i love how trans-hating folks are always cowardly trolls who can’t make their statements from a place of valid visibility. it makes me smile. your hatred exists in a vacuum. :) coward.

  14. Adam F. says

    I apologize for the quadruple post. It was a technical glitch with the website. I was not attempting to do one post for each of my 4 genders.

  15. Adam F. says

    Derrick – If they are serving currently w/ no problem, let that continue. If they announce themselves because they want to undergo some medical procedure, then I agree with Debs that it should be disqualifying and they should be discharged at that point, but there should be a procedure to consider waivers on an individual basis. Trans service raises very different issues than LGB service did, and it has to be handled differently.

    I object to the hypocrisy of trans activists saying that transgender is an “umbrella term” covering 30 or more genders and a whole raft of nonconforming behaviors and then suddenly abandoning that definition when it comes time to argue that military service won’t be an issue. You can be sure that should trans service ever allowed, the real definition will come roaring back to life and we will have demands for neutrois castration surgery and for commanding officers to be court martialed if they misgender a transfeminine genderfluid boidyke.

    Little Kiwi – I don’t see any hate or trolling. I see real concerns about a serious policy question. The military is not the Gender Studies Department at SFSU and we should never let it become that. Although I can’t see this proposal being taken seriously now or in the foreseeable future, I can tell you from personal knowledge that if this ever becomes a real issue on Capitol Hill, a lot of LGBs will be speaking out against it.

  16. BABH says

    Vera: You are misinformed. Gender dysphoria is no longer classified as a “disorder” in DSM 5. The DSM is published by the APA, and actually the overwhelming majority mental health professionals do not consider transgender people to be mentally ill. Treatment is routinely covered by insurance plans, and indeed the lingering practice of excluding gender dysphoria treatment from insurance coverage may be unconstitutional discrimination.

    Transfolk in the military, btw, are disproportionately badass. I know half a dozen MTFs who were special operators, Navy SEALs, combat helicopter pilots, etc. — people who have conclusively proven their courage, dedication, and discipline. If they want to stay in the service after transitioning, the military is crazy to kick them out.

    Transfolk are already serving with honor. As a country, however, we are failing to honor their service.

  17. Tim says

    LOL! I love LGB spewing the same kind of hate that is spewed against them. LGB who think trans-people are “freaks” are huge hypocrites.

  18. BABH says

    Adam F: No hate or trolling? Seriously?!? When there’s a post that uses the word “tranny” half a dozen times in a way that is obviously meant to be disparaging? When someone compared treatment for a serious medical condition to getting a boob job? When someone else called the transgender community a “zoo,” and you yourself called it a “circus?”

    Yeah, no hate or trolling here.

  19. justagirl says

    Little Kiwi thank you for being a breath of fresh air. Every time an article related to the T in GLBT comes up on this site my heart both soars and sinks at the same time. I can not understand how one oppressed community can turn their back on another without batting an eye lash. Moreover I find quite disheartening to see these individuals use the very arguments social conservatives use against the gay community to attack the trans community. I understand that the transgender experience is a complex and difficult idea to wrap your head around. To be completely honest I myself a trans woman don’t understand all the complex identities covered by the transgender umbrella. However a lack of understanding doesn’t give me license to discredit someone else’s reality. Isn’t that the same exact argument social conservatives use against the greater gay community. See for me this isn’t an argument or an identity or a controversial subject this is my life and like it or not I exist. To paraphrase a comment I left yesterday… Why is it anytime anything Trans related comes up, an onslaught of anti trans rhetoric quickly follows? As a young trans woman living in Texas , I feel a deep and personal connection to the ENTIRE GLBT community. I personally identify as a heterosexual woman but being a member of the Gay community is a huge part of my personal identity. Though our individual experiences are different our collective struggles are the same. I two grew up in a heteronormative world that told me the way I felt was wrong. I two was bullied because of the way I walked and talked . I two have been harassed and beaten for being who I am. I two am denied the right to marriage and countless other rights in my home state. Why must we create this us and them mentality. Its true our journeys are different but the goal of equality, and respect for everyone no matter who you are or who you love should be our number one goal. I understand that not all gay people understand the trans experience , but a lack of understanding doesn’t give you the right to invalidate or repress us. I never have and never will subscribe to an us and them mentality . For me there is only US and a threat to your rights is a threat to mine. I love being a part of the GLBT community and hope that @jackson you can find room for me at your table.

  20. Adam F. says

    BabH: Transgender is a circus. It is a huge array of people with all sorts of disparate conditions. It is defined as including everyone who deviates from conventional gender norms, which means everything from a heterosexual male with some effeminate characteristics to a transsexual to a hermaprhodite to a castration-seeking “neutrois.”

    It is crazy to pretend that all these people are one thing, transgender, and then make public policy on that basis. It isn’t hateful to say so.

    Thanks for admitting that sex reassignment surgery is treatment for a “serious medical condition.” I completely agree with you. You should know that the military does not accept people who have serious medical conditions. It seeks out and recruits healthy young men and women who can be the most effective at the lowest cost. There is simply no reason for the military to pretend that recruits who need treatment for a serious medical condition are equally desirable and equally qualified as recruits requiring no such treatment.

    They are not equal. In some individual cases, it might be worth it to the military to recruit or retain someone with special skills or expertise, but that’s as far as it should go.

  21. Helene says

    JustAGirl – I am sorry you suffered abuse and I appreciate your good feelings towards LGBs. But you are not gay. You say you identify as a heterosexual woman. Then own that identity.

    You cannot have it both ways. You cannot insist that people honor your identity as a heterosexual woman and at the same time claim to be a “a member of the gay community.” Heterosexual women can be allies, they can’t be members. You want both because you want the benefits of heterosexual privilege and the power to influence and control gay people. Too bad.

    What many gay people resent is that trans activists are largely not gay but have very eagerly latched onto gay people in order to take advantage of them. We aren’t stupid and we are very capable of reading trans blogs. It is very obvious that trans activists decided that they could control gay political capital and money by inventing “LGBT” and declaring themselves co-owners of the gay rights movement. Sorry, but fraud on a grand scale tends to irritate people. If trans activists want to be friends and allies, that’s great. I am 100% for that. But if you think you can manipulate us, warp our identity as LGBs, lie to gay kids by telling them that they aren’t fully male or female and are instead forever linked with transgenderism, and conduct a heist to benefit yourselves — and then have us all smile and wave, you have another thing coming.

  22. justagirl says

    Oh Helene,

    Ive sat here for the last 5 minutes even wondering if it was worth my time to respond to your post because obviously you have already made up your mind about who I am and what I am out of some generalized idea of who all trans people are . You might want to sit down because I’m sure you will have more opinions on who I am and kindly tell me about myself and where I fit in this world.

    You see my identity is alot more complex than just Im a transwoman and like it or not I am a part of the GAY community. You see though I no longer identify as homosexual my life and experience is deeply rooted in the gay community. At the tender age of 14 years old I came out to my parents as a gay male because I believed this at the time to be my true identity as many young trans people do , . Growing up I didnt know it was possible for me to grow up to be a beautiful and happy woman. My only experiences with trans people were in movies and tv where “He-Shes” were the butt of the joke. I remember hating myself for being so effeminate and wishing I could be more masculine like my best friend who lived with my family because his parents kicked him out for being gay. You see unlike my best friend there was no real coming out for me I lived my entire life in a glass closet. Kids started calling me fag when I was 5 years old , in fact I remember the day I came home to ask my mother what fag meant. My soft voice and swishing hips were undeniable and the kids knew I was different before I even did. My parents used to call my odd behavior artistic or creative. As young as 4 I remember wrapping myself in sheets and pretending I was Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face running down the grand stair case as Fred Astaire snapped my pics. I remember my horror in middle school when they divided the boys into teams of shirts and skins.I remember their taunts and fists. I remember my first real crush and how I pined for a boy named Wesley because he was the only one who treated me with dignity. I remember my sophmore year in high school when I stormed into my principals office threatening to bring the press ( as if I had any contacts) if she didnt give me the permission to have a gay straight alliance.I remember holding the hand of my best friend and many other boys as I helped them out of the closet . I remember how it felt to be at my first gay pride parade and feel like I finally had a place in this world. I remember standing at the podium at the Prop 8 protest with my megaphone in hand. I remember falling in love with a beautiful boy and building a home together at the age of 18. I remember seeing my first transsexual in the flesh and realizing that it was possible and that burning feeling in my stomach. I remember dressing as a woman for the first time and it feeling like I saw myself for the first time. I remember leaving that beautiful boy to be the woman I am today and Now I will remember when I was told I’m no longer welcome at the table people like myself helped create because we no longer fit in neat little boxes that other people created for us. But that’s the beauty of self identity regardless if you want me there or not I know I belong there and no matter how hard you try to push me to the wayside I know where I belong just as Sylvia Rivera , Marsha P. Johnson, and the countless other trans people who have fought along other GLBT peoples side have for years. So please tell me where I belong since you know so much more about me than I do myself.

  23. SpaceCadet says

    Beautiful post JustAGirl. Ignore that haters including the troll that directed it’s comment at you. It’s obvious a person that ignorant must have a life that sucks! Keep shining! :o)

  24. Helene says

    Well, JustAGirl, what I know about you comes from you. You are the one who wrote that you are a heterosexual woman. You are the one who writes under the name JustAGirl.

    OK? You are the source of information and based on what you have said, you are a heterosexual woman – just a girl – and not a member of the gay community. You may have thought you were a gay male at one point in your life, but that was a mistake. It wasn’t an accurate belief. You don’t get to claim membership in the gay community based on an error. More importantly, you are here in 2014, not some year in the past. So whatever you may say about your past, the truth is that today you are a heterosexual woman, not a gay man.

    There may be many cis people out there who initially thought, perhaps as teenagers, that they were gay and later realized they were not. They are not members of the gay community. Similarly, there are lesbians who at one time in their lives mistakenly thought that they were straight. They are not members of the straight community. These folks don’t get to dictate reality and claim to be straight and gay at the same time, and neither do you. You are not a special snowflake. You are just a selfish trans activist trying to dominate LGBs. LGBs are not going to allow you or any other heterosexuals to wield power over us because you think that a sense of nostalgia entitles you to do so.

    If you and your fellow trans activists want to wage war over this, bring it on. I think it would be outstanding if you all showed your true colors.

  25. BABH says

    I don’t know what kind of blinkered, exclusionary circles Helene runs in, but JustAGirl is clearly a member of MY gay community.

  26. says

    Like i said, all the (meaning THE ONLY, with his multiple sock puppet fake screen names) anti-trans comments are being made from a place of cowardly anonymity.

    because anti-trans gay men are sackless cowards. irony, eh?

    like i said – this has been the way of the land in the canadian military since 1992. you make America look stupid when you freak out and insist that you cant’ do what Canada has done, splendidly, for more than 20 years.

    see also – healthcare.