Him: Topic #5
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.
Topic #5: Homosexuality in the Military, the History of DADT
Topic #5: Homosexuality in the Military, the History of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
So this week’s topic is a little different. It isn’t kinky or very sexual in nature, but it deals with people sexual orientation, so I think it fits this blog. This week’s topic is Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and its history and presence in the military. So first, a history lesson!
In 1950 the Uniform Code of Military Justice was signed by President Truman which set up discharge from the military for any homosexual service member.
Then in 1982 Ronald Reagan stated that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” In addition he said if any service member engaged in homosexual acts or stated that they were homosexual or bisexual they would be discharged.
1992 Bill Clinton started to campaign and promised to lift the ban. However he couldn’t quite eliminate it so they implemented Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as a compromise. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell sets it up so that military members will not be asked about their sexual orientation.
2008 Obama starts to campaign and promises a full repeal of the law.
December 5, 2010 House passes repeal.
December 18, 2010 Senate passes repeal, sending it to Obama and ending the 17 year ban on gays serving openly in the military.
So as you can see there have been a lot of views on homosexuality in the military. Now let’s move into the impact of the repeal on the military.
“The Center for Military Readiness warned of “harmful consequences” in the week after top Pentagon officials certified that the military was ready for repeal, as required by Congress.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, in contrast, said repeal was “a significant step toward equality for all who want to serve their country in uniform,” one that would no longer force gay, lesbian and bisexual service members to “hide a part of themselves.”
The impact among heterosexual service members is also less significant than expected.
In the 2011 Military Times Poll, 59 percent of active-duty respondents said they did not believe they would be affected by the repeal. When service members were asked this year how they were affected after the repeal, 69 percent said they had felt no impact.
Although units where someone disclosed they are gay, lesbian or bisexual after repeal felt more of a change, 59 percent still said the repeal had no noticeable effect.”
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?
“Transgender individuals are prohibited from entering military service by medical regulations. To join the military, potential service members are required to undergo a physical examination as part of the entry process. During this examination, the military may reject the potential service member if he or she has had any type of genital surgery. Furthermore, even if the potential service member has not had surgery but identifies as transgender, the military considers this to be a mental health condition which disqualifies them from entering military service. Transgender individuals may request a waiver to enter the military, although waivers are difficult to obtain.”