Saturday, May 18, 2013

Transgender Vet News

From the ThinkProgress site:

"Despite the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the military still does not allow people who are transgender to serve.

Still, many people only transition after they’ve completed their service, creating complications for their continued receipt of benefits. Now, the Pentagon has recognized its first gender change for a military veteran and established a process — albeit a bit burdensome one — for future trans vets to do the same. Blogger and activist Autumn Sandeen was informed earlier this month that the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) has been updated to show her gender as female. Department of Defense spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen provided the following statement to BuzzFeed: For the last several years, the Department has made requested changes to gender in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) for military retirees.

Autumn Sandeen
A gender change in DEERS may be accomplished by the retiree presenting the following documents: - A letter from the doctor who performed the surgery, documenting completion of a gender reassignment surgery - A court order, legally changing the gender in accordance with applicable state law - An original birth certificate - A document, reflecting the sponsor’s name and if applicable, gender following completion of the gender reassignment procedure for a spouse The Department will not change a gender in DEERS if it results in a loss of benefits to the spouse of the retired member due to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The last point is noteworthy, in that the military is committed to making sure retirees receive spousal benefits without conflicting with the limitations of DOMA."

Of course there is much more to this process of interest to all of us transgender to read more.

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