Showing posts with label Transgender service members. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transgender service members. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Not Good Enough

Perhaps you have read somewhere by now, the Navy has given a waiver to serve for a stellar transgender active duty person. As you probably remember, for no good reason (except pleasing his red neck base) the liar in chief banned all transgender troops from serving. Since I am a transgender veteran myself, this story really hits home.

Now. “The acting Secretary of the Navy has approved a specific request for exemption related to military service by transgender persons and persons with gender dysphoria,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Brittany Stephens told CNN. 

Here is more from the LGBTQ Nation: “This service member requested a waiver to serve in their preferred gender, to include obtaining a gender marker change in (the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) and being allowed to adhere to standards associated with their preferred gender, such as uniforms and grooming.”

The unnamed officer came out after the ban went into effect in June 2019. They were represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights(NCLR)  and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).

“The ban has been in place for over a year and this is the first waiver to be granted,” said Jennifer Levi, GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director. “While we are relieved that our client, a highly qualified Naval officer, will be able to continue her service, there are other equally qualified transgender service members who have sought waivers and are still in limbo, despite being perfectly fit to serve. Dedicated military service members shouldn’t have to bring a lawsuit to be able to continue doing their job.”

“There is no basis for treating transgender service members differently by requiring them to seek a waiver that no one else has to obtain in order to continue to serve,” said Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director." “While we are relieved for our client, requiring transgender service members to jump through this discriminatory hoop makes no sense and only underscores the irrationality of the ban. Being transgender has nothing to do with a person’s fitness to serve, and transgender individuals should be held to the same standards as other service members.”

Hopefully, in November, the people will speak and the crook in chief be be voted out!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Toughest Trans Battle of Them All?

I hope just because I am a US army transgender veteran, I should feel any more strongly than any other transgender American that the continuing discrimination against transgender military members isn't one of the most basic problems we have?

Shouldn't the people who fight for our freedoms, be allowed to enjoy them? Especially when other countries around the world allow trans people to serve? Even I though, get the argument from people around me women in the military are a bad idea all together. It seems they feel we genetic or transgender women are too emotional, or devoid of strength and may not possess the will to fight to the bitter end for our other troops. Really? I tell them to just did a little deeper into the history of our area in Ohio when the Shawnee's and whites used to clash over land which belonged to the Shawnee.  Sure some of the heavily Scotch Irish women were captured and abused but many were some of the most feared fighters the Shawnee faced when cornered.

Still, today, stories such as this keep happening-because they can: From the Washington Post:  Capt. Sage Fox had come to terms with the end of her military career when she said she got a stunning phone call. It was her commanding officer, telling her that despite the military’s ban on transgender service members, she would be welcome to return— as a female, her preferred gender.
So Fox, 41, (left) a U.S. Army Reserve officer who had served in the military for 14 years, returned to post in Sacramento as a new person. Her voice was higher with the help of vocal training and her features softer as a result of hormone therapy. She had grown out her hair. She got permission to use the female latrine and be addressed as “ma’am.”
But a short time later, her orders were reversed without explanation, and she was told not to come back, she said. Thousands of men and women serving in the U.S. military are in such caught in the gap between shifting cultural mores and military regulations that still require the immediate dismissal of any service member found to be transgender.
Actually, yet again transgender service members such as Captain Fox are just caught up in a government full of politicians and bureaucrats just interested in a short term status quo arrangement.  I might make a move, but not in an election year!

The "shell game" goes something like this: Defense Secretary Hagel said he would be open to a study.  (How many years? How much money?) At the same time (of course) The Pentagon has said nothing is going on with them. And in the meantime, a dozen or so transgender service members have been discharged over the past two years (according to various advocates).

For of this more story go here. My blood pressure is too high to keep writing!!!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo "Sunday Edition"

Ker Plunk!  It's Sunday here in the Condo and time for a cup o joe and our Sunday edition.

Page 1.- Really Chuck? Recently in a totally unbelievable moment, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his cronies in the Pentagon got together and hurt their backs as they patted each other for the new diversity and equal opportunity in the U.S. military.  Of course Chuck happened to forget the transgender military members who are banned from serving.  They either serve in fear of discovery which could lead to loss of jobs and careers, or are separated from duty.  For the life of me, I can not understand how this hypocrisy on the highest level is continuing to be supported by congress and especially a so called "liberal" president. How big a hole does OBama have in the White House lawn to bury his head in the dirt and ignore this?

Also on the subject of trans vets, I should get a chance to meet one of the leading transgender military activists, Brynn Tannehill (shown above) at the Trans Ohio Symposium coming up this month in Columbus.

Page 2.- Really Cyrsti?  Like a college student who puts off studying for a long time and ends up running out of time, I find myself in crunch mode for my work shop at the fore mentioned Trans Ohio event.  My basic theme is "MtF Transitioning later in Life."  I presented it  last year, so I know much more on what to expect. The real problem is my book, Stiletto's on Thin Ice" which I pledged to have done by then.  Come hell or high water, I will, but the fact remains I'm a terrible closer.  Always have had a difficult time finishing projects.  To the right is a cover image I'm working on because my budget is non existent.  Certainly, I'm not looking to get rich or win a Pulitzer Prize - I just want to do it-preferably before I die. Which leaves me approximately another four weeks.

Page 3.- "Mo" Mail!  We have had so much mail around here (and I thank you all soooo much :) I am finally getting around to answering it all.  I got to most of Connie's comments yesterday and it's time to get to more today:  Our Prom Daze post struck a cord with many including Mandy Sherman:

The 'male privilege' I was allowed was severely restricted - more like completely hogtied. Rules I had to deal with included, but were not limited to: I couldn't drive her anywhere, for any reason, at any time. We either had to take public transportation and bring a chaperone along (no public transportation available in our rural area), pay for a limousine and bring a chaperone along (the limo driver was not a sufficient chaperone), or have my father (NOT my mother - do you see a touch of discrimination there?) drive us. With the price of a limousine what it was, fortunately good old Dad agreed to being chauffeur and chaperone.

This is a great comment from Mandy and there is much more to it.  As is another comment from Connie on the same subject.  Follow the link above to see them. Perhaps all the feminists who love to bitch about the male privilege bit, just need to understand each gender's grass is never as green as you think it will be. (No cheap shots about smoking it!)

To Pat, about the "The Transvestite Diet" post: I don't don't if she did too much dieting or if was a hoax or if the wife found out, but it seems to have disappeared.  (Liz told me a day later the blog was gone.)  My question was going to be if this person was on HRT or not.  The hormones of course have a dramatic effect on weight gain (and loss).  The male metabolism slows and a few of the meds want to make you eat your wall paper off the wall or maybe even your cat.  But alas, we may never know. Plus normally when I plug someones book here in Cyrsti's Condo I get a response and I got "nuttin honey!"

Page 4.- My Grandson Speaks.  This week I posted a comment from my 10 year old grandson saying I was his hero because I was gay.  My daughter was a little surprised and said that's wonderful but your grandpa is not gay-but transgender:

Pat commented:
Good luck. It is harder to explain T issues than gay issues. I am sure that you will remain or at least regain hero status. At a minimum he will come to recognize the courage that it has taken for you to be true to yourself while still fulfilling your obligations of being his grandparent and the parent of his mother.

Thanks Pat, he is an incredibly diverse kid already.  His fourth grade teacher last year is a very out gay man and one of the top drag performers in the Dayton, Ohio area.  He was just taking the easy route to connecting the dots.  We all know the difference in light years of being gay versus transgender and once he grasps it, all he will have to do is change the wording from "hero" to " heroine" I hope.  One way or another, it will be time for a sit down talk with him and older sister this June when they are out of school.

Back Page.- WHEW! We had a lot to cover this week.  I hope the delivery person didn't heave this issue through your window!  As all are the best and my special positive thoughts go out to all of those of you in or near where the tornadoes hit!  Sort of a constant reminder of how small we really are.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Being Played for Idiots

Thanks to Bobbie for passing this along.  Once again the Pentagon is playing all of us for a bunch of idiots. From

The ban on transgender service, which survived the 2011 repeal of DADT, is not mandated by statute. So it’s harder for the Pentagon to blame anyone other than itself for wasting talent and making a mockery of its professed commitment to diversity and the dignity of its force. That commitment was trotted out most recently in a Pentagon ceremony this week in which a revised Department of Defense Human Goals Charter integrated gays and lesbians into its language on diversity and inclusion. 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel went out of his way to tout the progress. “I’m proud that the language of the charter has been updated to reflect the contributions of gay and lesbian military personnel who now serve openly and proudly across America’s armed forces,” he said at the signing. “We will continue striving to make military service a model of equal opportunity for all regardless of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin.” And here I must pause to say that I, too, am proud of this progress and very glad that the military and the nation have done the right thing at long last. 

But Hagel made a point of holding up the military as a “model of equal opportunity for all,” which makes the continued ban on transgender service, the rationale for which is quickly crumbling, increasingly untenable.

Really? Let's not forget, Chuck, all the recent sexual abuse problems the military has had and more than a couple high ranking generals forced out of their command (and into high paid civilian jobs) for extra marital affairs. I know Hagel is no youngster, but even he must wonder about the lapses in his reasonable thought processes. Or how he sleeps at night after out and out lies.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cyrsti's Condo Sunday Edition!

Ker Plunk! Another edition of the Condo has just hit your "in box". Good day to Y'all!  I hope the weather Goddess is beginning to show a bit of kindness in your part of the world as she is here.  However, at this time of the year around here she is rather fickle but then again, being teased is fun.

Page 1.-The Week in Review.-  Transgender service men and women were back in the news this week as a major study concluded what we all knew, trans service members should be granted all the rights of any other person in the military.  Just as important was the fact the "Prez" could make it happen with only his signature.  The classic so near and so far away.  Why would he do such as simple thing as guarantee rights to a neglected segment of the population when so many other key issues in the world go unattended?

Page 2.-Beauty/Fashion.- With the change of seasons, comes a change of fashion-if your season actually changes or not. Your climate could be similar to the year I spent in Thailand where winter was 60 degrees and monsoons were the only other noteworthy seasonal change but it was time for the latest in rain fashion. This winter taught me yet another valuable HRT skin lesson. Exfoliation was easy-  if you want to lose an outside layer or two of skin , just go outside without a ton of moisturizer for the briefest time. (Which I know you girls up North already understood!) Now I  hear we have a 50-50 chance of another El Nino which normally means our summer will produce temperatures just north of Hell.  I'm already checking my wardrobe for sleeveless tops as I'm looking forward to the benefits of less muscle definition in my arms and the overall texture of my skin. As the fashionista's say, in summer the greatest fashion accessory is your skin.

Page 3.- We Got Mail.- Thanks Mandy for the comment on my "Horse's What" post:

At one point a long time ago, I donated my first ponytail to one of those cancer you a good feeling to help! But it grew back, and since then, breakage has taken its toll, shortening some spots to the point that they won't stay in a ponytail. Thus my hair stays loose...bummer. A ponytail would work great in the summer!
A while back I heard "that part of a horse's anatomy" you mentioned, referred to as "the north end of a southbound horse." Took me a minute to figure that out, but - it sounds better than some of the alternative descriptions! Maybe a bit more politically correct?

Mandy, I believe I was born with a "non political correct gene!"  As far as my hair goes, so far my partner is the only person allowed to approach me with scissors and she does trim my bangs and loose ends here and there.

Page 4.- The Back Page.-  This week for me has been one of unrest.  For some reason I feel like I am at a standstill in my transition which I know isn't really true.  As with anything else in life, there are peaks and valleys and HRT is no different of course. If you are making the hormonal transition, it's sometimes easy to forget you can't measure changes by the size of your breasts when so much is internal.

Page 5.- The Calendar.- The next three months or so are going to be exciting with all sorts of activities.  This week, I'm attending a transgender community meeting for the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio area as a beginning.  I can't believe after that, March is all but history and then I have committed myself  to finishing my book before the TransOhio Symposium  the end of May.  At the same time, a plethora of TGLB Pride events begin in my area until the end of June.  I'm looking forward to them because I have never been and I'm a great people watcher!  In many ways, I think either I won't notice or meet many other transgender women.  Obviously our goal is to have a good time and not be flashy and draw attention to ourselves.  An interesting dynamic when you put us somewhere in between the gay/drag community and the lesbians.  I know too, many cross dressers use a pride event to strut their "stuff!"

So there you go kids, as always, thanks so much for stopping by "theCondo".  You are my "faves!" and by the way - is St Patrick's Day a big deal in Ireland too?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Next Time You Look at an American Flag

Did you know?

Transgender Americans serve our country in uniform at twice the rate of the general population yet they are forced to keep their gender identity a secret or risk being discharged. While the United States military made a tremendous step forward within the realm of social justice and fairness with the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” nothing was done to remove the ban on transgender individuals from serving in uniform, a uniform I proudly wear as an officer in the Naval Reserve.

I didn't write this.  Will Smith, a heterosexual, African-American, church-going, Catholic military officer did in the Washington Blade and there is more:

The issue of transgender service is personal. Equal rights and the struggle for fair treatment under the law is analogous to the civil rights struggles of my parents and grandparents. As the great civil rights activist Julian Bond once said, “No parallels between movements for rights is exact … but we are far from the only people suffering discrimination — sadly, so do many others. They deserve the law’s protection and they deserve civil rights too.”

Most of you Cyrsti's Condo regulars know I'm a transgender veteran and the lack of rights suffered by transgender service members goes against the very basics of what our country was founded on- the right to fight for the freedoms we cherish.  Instead of fighting to protect the freedoms we are denied,  by an archaic system.

Thanks Will!!!!

Go here for more of the post.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Defending Our Liberty

This compelling new media series is designed to share the reality of transgender service members' lives.

It's coming to our screens this Spring 2014. Check it out on the Cyrsti's Condo big screen:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Transgender Military Feature

"After DADT": (Don't ask, Don't tell)  The New Civil Rights Movement all this week  is featuring exclusive articles from current and former transgender U.S. service members. Here's one of the stories with a happy ending from a Naval transgender service member who did come out on the job:

"The (my) XO didn’t care. My department head told me the XO’s response was, “I have enough to worry about with all the people who can’t or won’t do their jobs. Why the hell should I get rid of someone who’s doing their job really well?” I felt an immense sense of relief. I am safe for now, as long as I have these leaders and keep my performance up. Everyone seemed to agree–why kick me out if being transgender isn’t affecting my performance? Maybe this is why I was meant to reenlist; to show people that transgender people can be in the military and do their jobs just like anyone else. I just hope someday that this policy will be lifted, and we can serve openly."

Go here to read more!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Look Fast! We Are Invisible

I was going to title this post "Bastards" but decided to mellow myself out.

This story comes from BuzzFeed, and takes into consideration the Pentagon (due largely to the efforts of Autumn Sandeen) now does recognize the fact that transgender women and men have served- DUH!  The move is huge. Now veteran transgender retiree's can change their gender marker in the Defense Eligibility Reporting System.

In the meantime though, the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” ended the ban on out gay, lesbian or bisexual service members, the military continues to consider a service member being transgender grounds for a discharge from the military.

This year the Pentagon stepped up to the plate with a totally hypocritical statement:

"The Pentagon will be celebrating LGBT Pride Month again this year, but the memorandum announcing the designation has caused a stir with an organization that supports LGBT service members and veterans and their families. “We recognize gay, lesbian and bisexual service members and LGBT civilians for their dedicated service to our country,” Clarence Johnson, the director of the Pentagon’s Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, wrote in a memorandum announce the designation of June as LGBT Pride Month."

Very simply, don't insult transgender military service members past and present by adding the "T" in LGBT.