Picture this hypothetical scenario where you constantly asked about your sex life ? where you constantly asked to explain your anatomy ? where you were constantly asked about genital ? where you were you were constantly faced discrimination for being yourself ? excluded from gender specific activities or being denied access to public facilities ? Faced systematic discrimination ? Constantly questioning who you are ?
How does that feel ? Dehumanizing right? ?Well, that’s the daily reality for nearly 700,000 transgender people here in the U.S
Now imagine wanting to serve your country via Military service and the President of the United States issues a ban denying you that right and refers to you as a financial burden
C. Thesis and Preview: Today I’d like to distinguish fact from fiction regarding transgender people and hopefully pursued you on why they should be allowed to serve in the military
Transition into body of speech:
The political debate surrounding transgender service sparks a broad spectrum of passionate responses. For many Americans, who may never have (knowingly) interacted with a transgender person, this may be uncharted territory. Unfortunately, there are countless falsehoods, stereotypes, and oftens lies about transgender individuals that hinders the facts, which can make this topic very polarizing. What information is factual and what is “alternative facts” ? What does it mean to be transgender person ? Are transgender people capable to serve? How does their transition affect military duty? What are the medical expenses ? How will this affect non transgender members in a unit? Combine this with cultural, social, political, and religious perspectives and the ability to make an objective, factual based assessment of the situation has become extremely difficult for many Americans
III. Understanding Transgender
Transgender refers to a person who does not identify with the sex they are assigned at birth for example, an individual who physically looks like a female and is assigned the gender of female at birth but mentally identifies as male. The American Psychiatric Association states that “gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder.” In fact, scientists have determined that transgender brains more closely resemble the brains of the gender identified with than the their gender their assigned to at birth.
The term “identify” is used, but this is not a conscious choice. Mentally, transgender people are their identified gender, only their physical bodies do not match. Though often associated together in the acronym “LGBTQ” (with lesbian, gay,bisexual, and queer), transgender has nothing to do with a person’s sexual orientation. The gender you identify with has no correlation to whom you are attracted to.
Closeted transgender people have work extremely hard to conceal their true identity . Picture waking up in a body of the opposite gender. It would take serious effort to get dressed, act accordingly, and somehow make it through the day playing the part. Then you would go to sleep and start over again the next day, and the next, living a lie for the rest of your life. Eventually, this creates a tremendous amount stress, which is medically diagnosed as Gender Dysphoria . The diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria means the person is weakened by their dissatisfaction with their physical body and the label they were assigned at birth. Some Transgender individuals manage to live with a mismatched body their entire lives, but many become depressed, and ufournetly it can lead to suicidal thoughts .
IIII. Ability to serve
The standard treatment for Gender Dysphoria is to “transition” to the sex with which one identifies. For individuals who are transitioning—”coming out” to live openly as their gender identity—this typically means changing hair, grooming, and clothing styles. Most, but not all, pursue a variety of medical options to make their physical features match their gender identities, including laser hair removal, hormone replacement therapy, and surgical intervention.
How does this relate to their ability to serve ? Any person with a male body must meet male service standards; anyone with a female body must meet female standards. Transgender people who can meet the standards of their physical body are fit for service. This standard remains completely unchanged. Those who meet the standards can serve; those who don’t simply cannot. About 15,000 Transgender personnel are medically and physically fit to serve; they meet standards and actively serve today. The only new “issue” involves surgical transitioning, which is the most inexpertly understood aspect of whether transgender persons are fit to serve.
Culturally, here in the U.S we routinely alter our bodies to correct what we perceive to be a defect or simply for aesthetic preference everything from lip alterations to laser eye surgery to cosmetic surgery. When physical issues are noticed at birth, they are corrected while the child is young. However, there is no way to medically scan to know if individuals are transgender. It takes time, as they grow and develop, for them to fully understand why they feel different than their assigned gender. The mismatch of body with gender identity cannot be detected for years, at which time societal pressures can keep individuals from addressing the mismatch until later in life.
Many types of physical “defects” can be corrected and meet military standards. A service member who is injured in combat, a car accident, or while playing sports on the weekend is provided medical treatment and allowed time to recover. Members who may temporarily be unfit for deployment because of injury, illness, medical condition, or mental health issues routinely are treated with medication, surgery, therapy, or other intervention and brought back to full fitness for duty. Having Gender Dysphoria is no different; it is correctable through treatment by transition
What if someone could not get their prescription medication while deployed? Would it hinder their readiness? Military members deployed worldwide every day while taking the same medications transgender persons use, just for different reasons. Transgender members can still operate and function without their medication, the same as women who are unable to get birth control pills refilled while deployed. While the situation is not ideal, it would not limit a person’s ability to perform their duties.
It estimated increases between US $2.4 million to $8.4 million, which represented only 0.04 to 0.13 percent of the departments’ budgets. That is in direct contrast to President Trump’s statement in July 2017 that it would incur “tremendous medical costs.”
The medical costs to treat and return trained military members to duty pale in comparison to the time, money, and effort that’s required to remove and eventually replace them, which is why the military works to get personnel back into a medically fit status rather than simply discharging everyone who gets sick or injured. So why not provide real treatment to cure a medical diagnosis such as Gender Dysphoria ? The major difference is many Americans are not educated about transgender health requirements, and social stigmas hinder progression.
IV. Winding Down
If transgender people meet service standards, currently serve with honor and diligence, and the costs to transition are comparable and often less than many other medical issues that the military willingly cover, why should they be pulled or denied the opportunity to serve ? Why as a culture has accepting transitioning or post-transition serve members been so polarizing ?
Transgender people are more than ready, willing, and able to actively server in Armed Forces. They are a normal and beautiful part of society and have played important roles throughout human history, whether we were aware of it or not. Many have served or are actively serving; future generations of transgender people similarly will step up and have a desire to serve. Our military should value diversity, not for simple statistical purposes, but for the diversity of opinion . Different perspectives, cultural backgrounds, and experiences, including those unique to transgender people, all aid the ability to assess problems differently and devise progressive solutions. Our nation needs to be the strongest, smartest, and fully capable military possible, and the transgender community fully supports this.