Showing posts with label OutServe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OutServe. Show all posts

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Unfit To Serve?

As previously mentioned here in Cyrsti's Condo,  transgender Army veteran Allyson Robinson was named to head the  Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and OutServe, the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel.

 Robinson assumes the post as the two organizations are slated to finalize their combination this weekend. A native of Scranton, Pa., Robinson is a 1994 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she majored in physics. After an internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory, she was commissioned as an officer in the Army and commanded PATRIOT missile units in Europe and the Middle East. She also served as a senior trainer/evaluator for NATO and as an advisor to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

I know I'm speaking to the choir here but somehow I'm thinking transgender service people such as Allyson might just ruin all the stereotypes the U.S. Military has for refusing to let us serve.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Trans Woman Picked

From BuzzFeed Politics:

"The new head of the country’s leading LGBT military organization is Allyson Robinson, a former commissioned officer in the Army who most recently worked at the Human Rights Campaign on workplace issues. Robinson also is transgender — and her selection represents a huge breakthrough for a community that has received a level of respect in recent years but still faces overwhelming discrimination and high rates of violence, according to recent surveys by LGBT organizations. Following the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," however, she now faces the unusual challenge of persuading activist and donors that, in spite of that victory, the cause still needs their help. "We disentangled America from this legalized discrimination against gay and lesbian servicemembers," Robinson said, acknowledging that the key aim of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network since its founding in 1993 was reached with the September 2011 repeal of the law. The case she will make is the one that SLDN and OutServe, formed in 2010, have been making since the repeal: Troubling issues remain when it comes to LGBT military service. In addition to benefits issues for same-sex couples, open service for transgender people, whose own sense of their gender does not match the sex with which they were born, was not addressed in the repeal of the 1993 ban on open service and remains a reason to be discharged from the military today. "We have not achieved full equality for LGBT servicemembers, and I think that’s something that Americans care about. I think they care about the way that our troops and their families are treated," she said."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Trans Politics

For all Americans, once again it's time for a presidential election.
Along the way, I have decided to stay sort of non political here in Cyrsti's Condo which is tough since I am a very political person.
With great interest, I have watched how this election is laying out.
I'm pretty jaded and don't think either political party is really interested in helping the average citizen much. If government just stayed out of the way, we would be a stronger country.

I can't help but think this year's Republican ticket has the real potential to set back our transgender rights for years. Specifically I just know (that somewhere down the line) a huge check was written in Chick Fil-A's name when the Republican VP candidate was announced.
So I know my vote isn't going to the chicken chain and their party.

Typically, there are many sub plots involved with any election. Here is an important one from a transgender vet publication Outserve.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates that 25,000 transgender people could lose the right to vote due to voter ID laws. Many conservative states make obtaining a driver’s license with a trans person’s correct gender nearly impossible, or prohibitively expensive. As a result, up to 41 percent of trans people lack a correct driver’s license. While the map in the link above shows that this disenfranchisement is unlikely to affect the general election, or even statewide elections, it denies people the democratic voice we have fought for over the course of 226 years. Republicans don’t seem interested in trans people voting. When margins in elections get too narrow, though, democrats seem to prefer for military absentee ballots not be counted either. In closely contested Presidential races, the pattern has been for the democratic candidate to contest military absentee ballots (Bush v Gore), and for the republican to contest provisional ballots (Bush v Kerry). Voters with name discrepancies, like the transgender community, are typically forced to use provisional ballots. The math on why these two patterns happen is pretty simple; military people generally vote conservatively, and LGBT typically people vote for the more liberal candidate. There is an upside, I suppose. If the ban on trans people in the military ever ends, at least it will finally give both parties something they can agree on. They will finally have a demographic neither group wants voting.

In my case Brynn Tannehill who writes for Outserve and I both live in Ohio and she also goes into what she is facing voting on a local level.
Very soon I will be going down that same path!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

More "OutServe" Transgender Advice

Recently I ran a post featuring "OutServe" Magazine. I am certainly interested in the publication since I am a transgender vet. If you are a vet or not "Brynn Tannehill" writes about transition planning and begins with this:

"Like everyone in the military, at some point I had to leave. Transitioning from military life to civilian is hard enough. Transitioning genders at the same time adds a degree of difficulty that even Greg Louganis would cringe at. I left active duty in 2008 after 10 years in the service. I left the reserves in 2010 as Lt. Cmdr. Bryan Tannehill. Less than two years later I was Brynn Tannehill, civilian defense contractor.  Somehow, despite all the horror stories within the trans community, I managed to stay continuously employed, stay married, and maintain most of the relationships that mattered most to me."

Read it all here!

Friday, June 29, 2012

OutServe Magazine

Of course I'm biased towards any info concerning transgender vets in this country and anywhere. Outserve Magazine 
recently added Brynn Tannehill as a contributor.


Brynn Tannehill is a 1997 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, former Lieutenant Commander helicopter pilot, and a fully transitioned transgender woman. She has a wife and two loving children.

She just posted a very enlightened look into her visit to this summer's Columbus, Ohio's Pride visit. (In my part of the world). Here's an excerpt in which she very adeptly covers many segments of the transgender community and the "Holy Grail" of presenting as a female (in this instance).

" I didn’t come to pride events until I finished
transitioning and felt I had some ability to blend. Even at a pride
event, I didn’t want the trans label by not passing. After two years
of hormones, three years of electrolysis, and $35,000 worth of surgery
I thought I could avoid most stereotypes and blend in. Only then did I
feel comfortable going to my first pride event this year in Columbus,

I didn’t know what to expect. Most of the people seemed very ordinary.
The drunken frat boys overindulging at the beer trucks weren’t very
novel. The small but memorable assorted mix of people making a point
by being over the top either by the clothes they wore, or what they
chose not to, stood out. Some of them were very visibly under the
transgender umbrella as drag queens, female impersonators, or cross
dressers. Others were making a point of being overtly gay or lesbian.
Again, not unexpected. I wasn’t sure how I would explain to my kids
about the folks who looked like extras from “Avatar”: well toned,
wearing almost nothing, and brilliant blue from head to toe, though.

What did come as a surprise was what a surprise I was. When I
introduced myself to an online friend with the HRC in person for the
first time she exclaimed “Oh, wow, somehow I thought you were taller!”
At the OutServe booth I had to mention that I was trans before anyone
caught on why I would be writing for the magazine without being in the
military anymore. Same deal with the National Organization of Gay and
Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals. When I asked if
transgender people were part of their charter, the woman at the booth
replied “Why, do you have transgender friends?”

Everywhere I turned, I passed.  The fact that I didn’t look like all
the other visibly trans people at Columbus pride really did challenge
their notions of what trans is. Both of these gave me a bit of a warm
and fuzzy. What made it even better was the extremely positive
response I got from some of the younger people I met who found out I
was trans. As one 20-ish woman put it, “You’re trans? Really!? I’d
never guess. That so totally rocks.”

While these experiences were self affirming, they were also
instructional. It is only the outlandish examples that people
perceive. You notice the people trying to stand out, not the ones
trying to blend. I hear it so often that “I’ve never met a trans
person”, or “I don’t know anyone who really looked like <their target

Follow the link for more!

Dealing With Trans Rejection

Image from Jakayla Toney on UnSplash. Similar to so many transgender women or trans men, I have dealt with my share of rejections.  My first...