(First of all, I decided to post this here rather than in the Men Supporting Men group -- where insults and bullying are not allowed -- because I thought there would be more participation here.)

(Secondly, I have many LGBTQ friends, whom I support in any way that I can.  Some are single, some are committed, some are married.  None of them are the attention-grabbing persons we see on TV at festivals and parades.  They are just ordinary persons who have a sexual attraction that is not heterosexual.)

The whole question of transgender persons in the military is being discussed a lot these days, after the President changed their being welcome in the military.  At first glance, this can seem like a great injustice is being done to persons who have done nothing illegal.

But I also read recently about specifics relating to the military, and relating to persons who are transitioning.  There is very little privacy usually in the military, with gang showers, etc. being very common.

A female military person was quoted recently about how uncomfortable she would be if a person who is transitioning were showering at the same time she was.  This person (for example) may have begun hormone therapy and therefore have female breasts.  But s/he had not had the sexual reassignment surgery, so s/he still has male genitalia (in addition to the female breasts).

I know that I would personally feel a little uncomfortable in a gang shower with a person who had a masculine chest and/or or facial/body hair but who also had a vagina rather than a dick and balls.  (I would also feel uncomfortable having a person next to me at urinals who looked and acted like a woman just because she was born a male and that's what the rules say the person must do as far as restrooms are concerned.  And besides, who is going to check persons' birth certificates at the door to ascertain that they are entering the "correct" restroom?)

What do you guys think?  Remember: No insults or bullying.  Just a mature discussion, please.  Thank you, brothers.

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Replies to This Discussion

I thought this whole thing was out of the blue and totally unnecessary. 

I haven't heard a single issue coming from the military in regards to the presence of transgender in the military.

Not to mention, its equally unnecessary to state "in no capacity".

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

Very sensible, V.

1. This isn't out of the blue. It's retaliation.

2. Pretty sure all he has suggested is a reversal of policies implemented by Obama.

Along with privacy being a main concern, there aren't supposed to be any mental illnesses in the military. I don't mean this as an insult, because it isn't, it's a fact. People who are transgender have a mental illness called gender dysphoria. With this comes extreme depression and a high suicide rate. You can't put weapons into the hands of people that are depressed and suicidal, and while not all transgenders are, it's hard to tell who isn't and who is, and who will attack someone over a comment made.

Being trans is not a mental illness and mental illness does not always disqualify one for the military. Certainly many military personnel have suffered mental illness and remained in service.

By what means can you tell whether someone who is not trans is depressed or suicidal? The rates of those are higher for trans individuals, it is true, but it is not at all clear that it is as a result of being trans, rather than the social pressure, disapproval, abuse, and discrimination they face at much higher rates. Further, as Dom points out - the psychiatric establishment don't consider it a mental illness. 

I have yet seen any coherent argument that presents a good case for why this decision makes sense. Even the military leadership was blindsided (and disagrees), and I feel terrible for the very many trans individuals already serving their country well. 

It's obvious that Trump did not consult the DoD on this. Sec. Mattis was on vacation and was evidently blindsided; if he had been involved in this decision, he would have made the announcement. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had to issue an email clarifying that no policy has yet changed because he hasn't received an order from Sec. Mattis, which means Sec. Mattis has not received an order from the president. 

The DoD was in the middle of a 6 month study period on whether/how to implement trans inclusion. So clearly the DoD did not expect a decision about that to come before the end of the study period. Furthermore, when a U.S. representative introduced a trans ban amendment to a spending bill, Sec. Mattis personally intervened and called the representative to ask her to withdraw the amendment. So clearly Sec. Mattis is not interested in a trans ban at this time.


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