Showing posts with label military. Show all posts
Showing posts with label military. Show all posts

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Looking Back

 This comment comes from Connie based on my recent "Memorial Day" post:

"Thank you for your service, and thank God you survived it.

At the time I entered college (1969), student deferments were in effect. So was my gender dysphoria deferred, through pure will power and suppression. When the government decided to drop the student deferments and institute a lottery, I became fearful of being drafted with a lottery number of 122. At
Photo Courtesy Connie
Malone

first, I thought I could go over to the ROTC building, register, and then complete my education. Talking with some vets in my dorm, though, I learned that doing so would make me a 
2nd lieutenant, and being one would put me in a higher casualty position than if I were just inducted as a private. OK, I thought to myself, maybe this would be a good time to come out (suppression doesn't work 24/7, but it adds an extra door or two to the closet your in). I figured that it would be the ace up my sleeve, anyway.

My number did come up, right at the end, but I was never "asked" to report for anything (and so was able to keep my suppression active). I don't know why I wasn't called, and I don't much care. For many years afterward, though, I wondered how many of those who had had my same lottery number never made it back home alive. It was a source of guilt for me, until I had a talk with my brother-in-law, who had been drafted, and then served in the infantry earlier in the war. He helped to relieve my guilt by letting me know how lucky I was to have missed out on the whole thing. Although relieved and happy to have made it back alive, he was haunted by things he had seen and had been forced to do. He passed away from cancer a few years ago, a cancer his doctor was sure had been caused by his earlier exposure to Agent Orange.

As I put the flag up for Memorial Day, I do so with a reverence and respect for all who have served and have died in protecting the rest of us. Even those who make it back alive surely have had something die within them, as a result of their experiences. My brother-in-law loved to barbeque, so I will add a little prayer for him when I fire up the grill later today."

Thanks for the comment. I was one of the few I knew who were able to make a potentially dangerous situation livable, I know regular reader Georgette was another. The fact remains though most were not so lucky. 


Monday, October 26, 2020

Just Google It

 The group which is presenting me with a honor for my LGBTQ transgender military service so many years ago requested a picture if I could find one. It was so many years ago (1972-75) and was a time which I wasn't especially fond of having my picture taken anyhow, I doubted if I could find one. 

I was sure I didn't have any pictures "just laying around" the house. Finally, I remembered a few of the former guys who served where I did on the American Forces Radio and Television Service - Thailand Network actually put together a website years ago. I began to wonder if I was in any of their pictures.

I went out on a limb and googled my deadname and AFTN and amazingly, there I was. Listed in a group picture of the entire crew of the military Udorn, Thailand radio/television station in September of 1972. I would have been approximately six months removed from basic training and the station itself was still fairly new. A year before, a battle damaged fighter jet had crashed into the old station killing all nine of the workers inside. So the surprise picture brought back many memories, many not so good.

At any rate, I have decided to share the photo on Cyrsti's Condo. I am on the bottom row, first person on the left. I worked all nights then and lived off base, so somehow I escaped not having to wear a uniform for the group. Ironically the only other military person shown here not in uniform was my close friend Dave Mallett. 

With this group we operated and tried to maintain a 24/7 radio station and a 14 hour a day television station for the airbase and separate "secret" sites in Cambodia. Our job was to provide as well as we could a connection to home for the others we served.

I am humbled and honored to receive the award!


  

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 29, 2019

Blog Comment

I follow a non transgender based blog on Word Press called Lifes Fine Whine. Today she posted she wanted comments about childhood dreams and how they came out. I decided to provide a comment about mine. The comment was designed to explain some of the angst of being transgender without getting too in depth. Here it is:

All through my childhood, I wanted desperately to be just like the girl next door. Unfortunately I was a boy born into a male dominated family.
So, I played football when I wanted to be a cheerleader. Went to the prom in a tux instead of the beautiful dress my date wore.

After college, I was drafted into the military during the Vietnam War. I served my time but never lost the idea I was somehow living a lie. I cross-dressed every time I had the chance to relieve the pressure and explored the idea of living a feminine life.

Along the way, I went through two marriages to women who knew of my "secret." The second passed away quite unexpectedly leaving me free to make a decision in my life.

Finally, at the age of 60, I came out as transgender and started hormone replacement therapy to feminize my body as much as possible.
I began to live my life as a transgender woman. Found an incredibly accepting partner and settled into living my dream.

It took me awhile but now I feel blessed to have lived on both sides of the gender fence.
I have also benefited from my daughter and three grand kids who also are extremely accepting.
In many ways I feel I should come out sooner.
However the wait was worth it. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hypermasculinity and the Transgender Vet

A new study is being released this fall on the connection between the military and transgender vet according an article in San Diego by Beth Ford Roth:
"A soon -to-be  published study claims men who served in the military were twice as likely to consider themselves transgender as men who were not veterans.
The study by Air Force veteran and psychologist George Brown  looked at more than 5 million veterans as subjects."

The study went on to say many joined the the service to become a "real man" and was a way of suppressing their gender dysphoria.
No real surprise. Right?
I'm a little different in that I was a "draft induced" vet from the Vietnam era and the exclusion for genetic females was yet another cause to yearn to jump the gender fence.

In her article Roth contacted the Pentagon for a reaction to the upcoming release.
 Their official reaction was quoting the Dept of Defense regulation that states transgender people are not allowed to serve in the military.
(Other than the ones who have served, do serve and will serve-of course)
This does give the Pentagon time to bring in a fresh load of sand to stick their heads into and further ignore the status of current transgender servicemen and women.
They also can stock in extra whip lash medication for future neck trauma. An injury sustained by violently turning your head the other way.