Why Repeal DADT?30
This was an interesting conversation off the Discord and I'd like to talk about it more.
It seems like Obama's repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell caused more problems than it solved. I'm all for trans/lgbt rights, but an environment like the military is dependent on quick and accurate communication. Very likely you're going to have your head shaved and be stuck in a uniform, and you'll only be addressed by your rank.
I don't see a place for open transexuality in the military, since respecting a person's identity is just not important enough in that sort of cut-and-dry environment. I think bringing back Don't Ask Don't Tell would be a much less transphobic act than the blanket ban, and be more true to the inclusivity trans people are fighting for.
I'm surprised this is even controversial. There was a system that allowed trans people to serve, and now there isn't, so my argument is "Let's go back to plan A."
I think it'd be awesome if the ban was lifted. But I also don't see it happening, given patterns of military attitude. DADT was a compromise that I feel actually just gave full right to enlist in practice, as everyone who'd join is already enlisting under a similar basic principle of the military. You're going to have to go out without makeup and show up to work in your BDUs. You're going to have to have your hair in a bun with a sock in it. There's no room for open self-expression anyway.
Those are my arguments, yes. Being in the military sucks for everyone involved. Banning trans people exclusively when they could serve just fine under DADT seems to me that people are more interested in their explicit recognition by the law than their ability to do it in practice.
It's become clear that I'm the only one with this opinion, though. If that continues for the next, say, 3 hours, I'll just lock the thread and we can all move on with our lives.
Most of the reasons you've given here are reasons to be against the military, not for DADT. You're explaining why the military is abusive to its people and build them up mentally in a way that will negatively effect them for the rest of their lives. Just look at all the issues surrounding veterans and mental health to understand why. If some officers had to leave because the fact that some people may be gay or trans when others can openly be straight or cis, seeks to erase identity because officers are so disgustingly homophobic and transphobic they can't work with people they know are lgbtq+.
Don't give me the "there's no room for open self-expression anyways" like it won't negatively effect someones mental health to have to bury their self-identity after being pushed into signing up with a manipulative enlistment program. Someone having to bury who they actually are in order to serve in the military only will further hurt them for the sake of some officers boo-hoo'ing about their existence. I find the rhetoric grotesque.
Some people want to do it anyway, bless their hearts. Far be it for me to say some shouldn't be allowed to do it. If you really want to, and you're prepared to lose a part of yourself (as everyone in the service does), the doors should be wide open.
You can be gay in the military just fine. The stories I've heard from drunk airmen crashing on our couch is vivid proof of that. I don't see why someone who identifies as another gender would have any more issues of self-expression outside of the work setting than anybody else.
Heck, I even remember a time I saw a group of airmen go out clubbing off-base. One guy had on these massive heels that looked more like stilts. It was more cosplay than cross-dressing, but obviously if he showed up to work like that he'd be discharged so fast his head would spin.
Are you advocating for full military reform, though? That's a more interesting point.
She told me about the experience of being homosexual in the military as much as she could from stories her friends told her. That yes, you couldn't hang with your superiors in your off-time while cross-dressing, but there were pretty wide social circles of gay individuals that understood the limitations presented to them and desired to serve anyway, content with (in one case) dressing like a boy while off-base or having relationships in line with their orientation as a means of expressing themselves.
She also told me a bit about what a given trans person would have to comply with if they were in the military. The 'dress-and-appearance' regulations are more strict than I thought - their hat must fit squarely on their head, their hairline has to be a certain number of inches from their eyebrows, and plenty of other oddly rigid guidelines that are specific to one gender or another. She also said that most people wouldn't care if you wanted to dress in uniform as the opposite gender, because the policy was to n o t a s k .
She also told me that talking about things like this in this country, with everyone already riled up about every little thing, is going to be like pulling teeth, and that I should just post cat memes instead. That's honestly the most intelligent thing I've heard all day. When I close this in 30 minutes, I'm gonna post the juiciest cat meme I can find.
The Gender sexual minorities in the military fought for many years to repeal DADT but here you are telling them no, actually i know better, you were better off with it than without it.
I think you should give that Britannica article a super-quick read, @XhakaKhan. DADT was created to allow homosexual service members *back* into the service. With it gone and with a sympathetic Republican politician in office, a trans ban or something similar was obviously going to come back. At least DADT had the support of the senate and the house, and you can't get Congress to agree on anything.
I'm interested in the argument that the military itself was worse off because of DADT. Good linguists get discharged for stupid reasons all the time, it's really not exclusive to homosexuals at all.