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Pentagon Continuing to Drag Its Feet on Trans Issues in the Military

Landon wilson

In a new column over at Slate, Nathaniel Frank looks at the Pentagon’s continued enforcement of its ban on transgender service members and the robotic responses given to questions surrounding the untenable ban.

Writes Frank:

The Pentagon uses that word—untenable—too, in its oddly robotic response to anyone who questions the rationale for its trans ban. But the Pentagon says that it is trans service that is untenable, not its bogus rationalization for prejudice. Asked by the Washington Blade why its newly signed Human Goals Charter excludes “gender identity,” spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen said that “service members must serve in austere environments, many of which make necessary and ongoing treatments related to sex reassignment and many other conditions untenable. Policies on military personnel and health care regarding transgender members are intended to meet the needs of the services, which include the ability to deploy to and serve in austere environments with limited (and perhaps no) access to medical care for prolonged periods.” …

How do you explain the blanket ban on transgender service, based on the idea that some transgender personnel may require burdensome medical treatment, while current policy allows all kinds of non-transgender personnel to serve even if they require the same or more burdensome medical treatment? Why, you become a robot. When the Washington Post asked the Pentagon for a comment for its recent front-page story on Landon Wilson [pictured above], a highly trained sailor who lost his job for being trans, spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson said, “Service members must serve in austere environments, many of which make necessary and ongoing treatments related to sex reassignment and many other conditions untenable.” Sound familiar?

Check out the full column HERE.

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  1. Does't sound like the Pentagon is dragging its feet at all. They have made a reasonable decision. There is no reason to admit a tiny group of people beset by medical issues who will require all manner of accommodations. The minute transgenders are allowed to serve, there will be demands for taxpayer funded hormone treatment and the creation of unisex bathrooms. Eventually, the part of the "trans community" known as neutrois - people who seek to be castrated - will demand taxpayer funded castration surgery.

    Trans activists want what they want and they expect LGBs to be their slaves and fight their battles for them. No thanks.

    Posted by: Andrew | May 4, 2014 3:15:09 PM

  2. Psychotic rant from Andrew aside, I'm a little confused by the article.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understood, the pentagon is saying that they ban trans people because they may need ongoing hormone treatments which would be impossible if they were deployed in harsh environments.

    And from what I understood, the argument accusing them of hypocrisy is based on the fact that cisgendered males and females sometimes need and do get support (like if a male loses his testicles to cancer or something and needs exogenous testosterone), and these individuals are not banned from serving.

    Is that right?

    Posted by: dDimensionalDeSitterSpace | May 4, 2014 3:59:40 PM

  3. The so called "ban" on transgendered individuals in the military is quite a complicated situation. There are many medical conditions that get you discharged from the military. A person in my unit was medically discharged because of a seizure disorder. I have another friend in the service who is himself transgendered. He goes by his chosen male name in the unit. Even the commander uses his chosen name. Ultimately this is a very different issue than DADT was.

    Posted by: Jeffrey | May 4, 2014 4:14:50 PM

  4. Maybe it's because they cause unit disharmony... Not by being trans, but being insufferable whiners about everything and yelling "die cis scum" at every opportunity.

    Posted by: Carmelo | May 4, 2014 4:38:08 PM

  5. I don't think it is a good idea to allow transgender people into the military. Transgender people have long opposed gay civil rights (they blocked the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because they wanted to add the irrelevant category gender identity to a law related to sexual orientation).

    Posted by: DB | May 4, 2014 4:41:10 PM

  6. My 2 cents: In the last month, a trans-only antidiscrimination law was introduced in Pennsylvania, which excludes gay people. Trans activists celebrated. The US Dept of Education issued a ruling that Title IX protects transgenders, but not gays. The trans activists celebrated.

    At no time did these trans activists every say "No, we reject any attempt to advance trans rights without including gay rights. After all, we are all in this together!" No, the only time they talk that way is when they want to browbeat gay people into doing their bidding. LGBT is such a blatant scam, it is amazing that some people can't see it. They do nothing for us and care only for themselves. They exploit us, and I have had enough of it.

    Whether trans people should serve or not, I don't know. But I am certain that I don't care. And I don't support us spending a dime or a minute of our time on this or any other trans issue.

    Posted by: Benicio | May 4, 2014 5:23:43 PM


    No, that isn't right. The Slate column says nothing about the loss of a testicle or hormone replacement by "cis", i.e., normal soldiers. The Slate piece only notes that a small percentage of serving personnel took anabolic steroids last year. Anabolic steroids are not the same thing as testosterone. They serve many purposes, including the reduction of swelling in damaged or inflamed tissue. They may be taken once or a few times and that's it. It has nothing to do with hormone replacement, let alone anything comparable to a "gender transition."

    All trans activists have are spurious arguments and ridiculous analogies. Which is why it is unlikely that trans people, with their myriad mental, emotional, and physical health problems, will ever be allowed to enlist.

    Posted by: Henry S. | May 4, 2014 5:37:20 PM

  8. Some things take time. In the 6 years of the Obama presidency, gay rights have moved forward 10-fold. Let things move forward in a steady pace, not rushed. Greed doesn't help any cause.

    Posted by: CB | May 4, 2014 6:05:15 PM

  9. Yet transgendered members serve in the forces of other NATO countries.

    Oh Canada . . .

    Posted by: Joe in Toronto | May 4, 2014 6:17:07 PM

  10. What issue doesn't the military drag their feet on?

    Posted by: JMC | May 4, 2014 6:58:26 PM

  11. The brilliant military career of "transwoman" Bradley "Chelsea" Manning:

    - Joins Army as a way of dealing with mental problems

    - Quickly develops a persecution complex; decides he hates the Army

    - Assaults a female soldier

    - Betrays his oath and his unit. Leaks thousands of diplomatic cables w/o reading them or knowing what he is leaking. States that he hopes to sow chaos.

    - Gets arrested. Falsely denies being the leaker.

    - Admits to being the leaker. Gets convicted. Taxpayers bear the cost of the investigation, trial and lengthy imprisonment.

    - Demands taxpayer funded hormone treatments and "transition" surgery.

    Yeah, I can imagine the Pentagon is really enthusiastic about "trans service."

    Posted by: TransWatch | May 4, 2014 8:59:09 PM

  12. Maybe a solution would be to let the transgenders enlist in the cavalry. I hear that they looove horses! lol!!

    Posted by: Derrick From Philly | May 5, 2014 12:25:59 AM

  13. Why are we meant to care about a group of people as homophobic as the trannies.

    Trannies are not our friends or allies.

    Posted by: MaryM | May 5, 2014 4:35:31 AM

  14. Normally, I don't believe in gay rights advances not including trans rights as it seems like a "divide and conquer" tactic.

    However, I can see how this can be a special issue in the military. If one is gay or lesbian that really does not require any special accommodation. Trans is much more complicated.

    Posted by: Gay Guy | May 5, 2014 8:34:51 AM

  15. To "TransWatch" who posted that irrelevant posting about Chelsea Manning.

    If one person does something wrong, do we blame an entire group because that individual belongs to that group? For instance, Jews, Muslims, blacks, individuals from a certain part of the country, etc.

    While I might have some reservations about trans service, that certainly is not relevant to the situation.

    Posted by: Gay Guy | May 5, 2014 8:38:59 AM

  16. Dear Pentagon, stop looking down, and look North. To Canada. We figured this out nearly two DECADES ago. Why do you continue to sit and fret over things your neighbour to the north has continuously figured out FOR YOU?

    "well, i just don't know how it could possibly work!" - ask a Canadian. See also: slavery, LGBT protections in the workplace and in housing, gay adoptions, gay marriage. get with it.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 5, 2014 12:01:31 PM

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