Last week, the Pentagon announced the possibility of lifting the ban on openly trans service members in the near future. This has been a long time coming, especially with the end of DADT in 2011. There are already as many as 15,000 trans service members throughout the US military. Because of a medical regulation, they are not allowed to serve openly as their true selves. That doesn't mean some soldiers aren't pushing the issue forward toward progress. Today's episode looks at lifting the ban and what needs to be done in order for it to work.
The episode begins by looking at how trans troops are already integrated in the military in countries around the world. The examples of the first transgender officers in the UK and Israel are great examples of how the topic is yielding real solutions. We then look at the transgender conundrum in the military, particularly the issue of overcompensation for closeted trans troops. Now that the Pentagon is considering lifting the ban, we look at the issues that trans* service members face, including the risks that will inevitably need to be addressed. But the support of transgender veterans like Kristen Beck and Shane Ortega show the need for this ban to be lifted. No one believes this will be an easy task, but it can be done. It will be done. It is only a matter of time now.
Trigger warning: This podcast contains discussions of the military, transphobia and sexual assault.
Here are some resources and references: