Two weeks before the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Staff Sergeant Rebecca Grant got booted from the Army National Guard because a fellow soldier outed her as transgender. Despite the recent DADT repeal, the military still considers trans people as having “gender identity disorder” and being “administratively unfit to serve”; which is why they’re quite happy to discharge Sergeant Grant despite her over ten years of service and duty overseas in Bosnia and Iraq. Welcome to the new frontier in the military battle for equality.
Louisville Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says that trans acceptance in the military will be a hard sell seeing as the general public and large segments of LGB community harbor prejudice against transgender people.
“It’s going to take straight, gay, lesbian and bisexual advocates to lead the charge for transgender folks to have the same and equal rights that gay, lesbian and bisexual people have. Stories like Ms. Grant’s oftentimes get shoved under the rug because the larger gay, lesbian and bisexual community sometimes feels they have to take an incremental approach. It hasn’t been that way in Louisville, we’ve never taken that approach. The movement in Louisville has always said fairness is fairness for all.”
Right now, eight U.S. allies including the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, and Spain allow trans people to serve. But the trans rights movement will have to begin publicizing Grant’s and other trans discharge stories and mobilize public demonstrations in order to get movement on this issue.
Image via familymwr