Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How Mentally Ill Was I?

As I am fond of saying, if I was or am the diagnosis certainly has nothing to do with my transgender identification.
The was I'm referring to was the time I served in the U.S Army.
As a transgender vet, one of my favorite blog stops is Outserve Magazine and Brynn Tannehill.

Over the next few weeks, she is going to be writing several articles concerning the question of open transgender service. This first excerpt comes from her views of the policy trans men and women can't serve because of the now hopeless outdated mental illness questions:


"For 45 years there have been transgender individuals who have functioned at the highest levels of their fields. Lynn Conway is one of the people most responsible for the microprocessor revolution of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. She was also on Board of Visitors at the United States Air Force Academy, and a civilian two-star equivalent at DARPA. Dr. Christine McGinn was an astronaut qualified flight surgeon in the Navy. Amanda Simpson is a Presidential appointee to the position of Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. Dr. Chloe Schwenke is a Presidential appointee to a director’s position at USAID. The list goes on and on, but it puts to rest the notion that gender dysphoria is a debilitating mental illness. It’s a medical condition that doesn’t prevent people from doing their jobs, and often those people are doing them extremely well. Being trans hasn’t been an adverse indicator for security clearances since the mid-1990s. Given that, the government has tacitly recognized that gender dysphoria doesn’t imply an inability to function, nor does it imply a dysphoric person is untrustworthy. It also begs the question: if the U.S. government was and is willing to trust Lynn and Amanda with the highest levels of decision making and responsibility for national security, why is it also unwilling to trust a gender dysphoric culinary specialist third class with making sloppy joes? While the Associated Press and some LGBT media outlets picked up this story, there are few outside the trans community aware of this shift. The paradigm among the public, and even amongst some members of the LGB community, remains that trans people are mentally ill or dysfunctional. This is not altogether different from how the public saw the APA’s decision to remove homosexuality from the DSM in 1973: it took a long time for this position to become the conventional wisdom as well."

Follow the link above for the entire post!

No comments:

Post a Comment