Transgenders in the Military – Challenge #5

A few months back I challenged my Facebook friends to pick topics for me to write about on my blog. My list of “former” Facebook friends is growing and this Challenge topic is one of the reasons why.  I don’t shy away from things because they are difficult.  But, geez, really? Give a girl a break.  You challenged me to write it, so I now challenge you to read ALL of it.

I don’t get hung up on labels. I see them used far too many times to create pain, destruction and division. I work hard to see people as people not as gay, lesbian, transgender, black, hispanic… you name it.

I remember the first lesbian I met. I was in grade school. It was a woman who worked for my mom. My mom had agreed to babysit her daughter so she and her partner could go out. During this time, I was attending a Pentecostal Holiness church (to the right, to the right, to the right!) with a family down the street.

This was during the 70s. There was a social revolution going on. My mom saw nothing wrong with this female-female relationship. Mom’s response to my questioning was; “It’s none of our business. They are not hurting anyone.” She was right. The church, on the other hand, wanted to string them up by their feet and burn them at the stake. Not much has changed.

Even a young girl could recognize the stark differences in the responses.  When the church’s love feels more like hatred, I mentally come back to this moment with my mom. The unchurched have a tendency to show more compassion and grace than the ones sitting in the pews every Sunday morning. My mom taught me acceptance and grace, whereas church people taught me judgement and exclusion. It is an odd dichotomy, isn’t it?

When you ask me about transgenders in the military, it is not the transgenders that I see as a problem, yet, it is our view of them I see as being THE PROBLEM. I see a human being, I don’t a see a label. And, that human being has just as much capacity to fight for his/her country as any other person. It is foolish to believe that transgenders are not currently serving their country. The fact is, they do it proudly, although they are forced to hide their identity in order to protect their safety and society’s bigotry. If you are looking for someone to wield a sword against transgenders in uniform, I am not your girl.

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