Alex Blaze

Cal Thomas is stupid...

Filed By Alex Blaze | October 15, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Cal Thomas, Don't Ask Don't Tell, gays in the military, military, recruitment, Washington Times

And a DADT story from a non-officer.

But first, Cal Thomas an idiot.

I was reading his column on DADT when I came across this paragraph:

But we are beginning in the wrong place. The place to start is whether citizens of this country, through their elected representatives and the military leaders named by them, have a right to determine what type of service members best serve the interests, safety and security of the United States. I contend we do.

Then I thought, didn't Gallup just do a poll about DADT? I'll have to look it up to write a post about this later.

Oh, how wrong I was. I didn't need to look it up at all, because it appears several paragraphs down:

Opinion polls have shown the public shifting in favor of gays in the military, including a recent Gallup poll that found that "Americans are 6 percentage points more likely than they were four years ago to favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in the military, 69 percent to 63 percent."

Well, there ya go. You want to see some more Barrel Fish shooting?

If the armed services were open to all behaviors (as distinct from orientations), recruitment might become more difficult. Some of the services have struggled recently to meet their recruitment goals[...]

Later that same sentence:

though overall enlistment is up because of the economy.

It's almost like recruitment is unrelated to the presence or absence of out queers in the military.

Society accepts gays so much that any brilliant leader who disagrees is shouted down by the rabble:

[Positive polling on gays in the military] is mostly because there are few leaders who wish to give voice to opposing points of view. They fear being shouted down or accused of homophobia.

Society is totally opposed to homosexuality and elitist librul democrat congresscritters who approve of it will lose their jobs:

If Congress wants to repeal DOMA and change the military's behavioral codes, it can do so through new legislation. But that would put Blue Dog Democrats at risk at re-election time because they serve mostly conservative districts. They know their political careers would be over if they voted in favor of gay marriage or for gays in the military.

Here's something that sounds a lot like an argument:

The gays-in-the-military and gay-marriage issues are part of a broader attempt by liberals to restructure society. Social activists despise biblical morality (which heterosexuals could use a little more, too), traditional values that have been proved to work when tried and numerous other cultural mores.

Yeah, no culture has ever accepted gays in the military and lived to tell about it:

2 Countries that allow homosexuals to serve in the military

2.1 Argentina
2.2 Australia
2.3 Austria
2.4 Belgium
2.5 Bermuda
2.6 Canada
2.7 Czech Republic
2.8 Denmark
2.9 Estonia
2.10 Finland
2.11 France
2.12 Germany
2.13 Ireland
2.14 Israel
2.15 Italy
2.16 Lithuania
2.17 Luxembourg
2.18 The Netherlands
2.19 New Zealand
2.20 Norway
2.21 Philippines
2.22 Romania
2.23 Slovenia
2.24 South Africa
2.25 Spain
2.26 Sweden
2.27 Switzerland
2.28 United Kingdom
2.29 Uruguay

At least the response to that argument wasn't embedded in the column itself.

One last one:

Mission is national defense, not experimental psychology

This is why fewer and fewer people care what douchebags like Cal Thomas have to say. The majority of people know the military isn't about "national defense," that's why it keeps on being used to invade third-world countries and steal their resources, just like the majority of people know working with gay people isn't a problem or "experimental psychology." These arguments don't have much resonance right now because they're just so detached from the reality in which people are living.

Joseph Rocha's description of DADT

Cal Thomas is ostensibly responding to what Joseph Rocha (navy guy discharged because of DADT) wrote in the Washington Post. I recommend Rocha's column, and not because it says that DADT is bad (don't need to preach to the choir), but because of the way in which it's bad.

Usually we hear about how DADT ends the careers of decorated officers who went to the big military academies, have distinguished records of service, yada yada yada. As if the fact that they were high up there in the military means that they're more deserving of the right to be out on the job.

Rocha was an enlisted guy who joined up when he was 18 and thought if he was just in the closet he'd be left alone. That's the compromise DADT was supposed to have settled on. Well, apparently not so:

Shop talk in the unit revolved around sex, either the prostitute-filled parties of days past or the escapades my comrades looked forward to. They interpreted my silence and total lack of interest as an admission of homosexuality. My higher-ups seemed to think that gave them the right to bind me to chairs, ridicule me, hose me down and lock me in a feces-filled dog kennel.[...]

In one corner of the classroom was a long sofa, turned away from the door. When you walked into the room, it appeared that one man was sitting on it, alone. But I was there too -- the chief had decided that I would be down on my hands and knees, simulating oral sex. A kennel support staff member and I were supposed to pretend that we were in our bedroom and that the dogs were catching us having sex. Over and over, with each of the 32 dogs, I was forced to enact this scenario.

I told no one about what I was living through. I feared that reporting the abuse would lead to an investigation into my sexuality. My leaders and fellow sailors were punishing me for keeping my sexuality to myself, punishing me because I wouldn't "tell."

Even people who aren't gay suffer because of DADT:

I even saw "don't ask, don't tell" used against heterosexual female service members who had reported being the victims of sexual assault. If my chief acted on their statements, he would be forced to punish a friend of his, so the easiest way to make the problem go away was to scare the women into silence by saying something like: "You weren't sexually assaulted by a male in my unit. I hear you're a lesbian." After all, homosexuals have no rights in our military. You can't sexually assault someone who doesn't exist.

As well as people who aren't even accused of being gay:

In the course of that investigation, the Navy decided to charge my best friend, Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Valdivia, a 27-year-old Sailor of the Year and second in command of my unit, for failing to put an end to my chief's tyranny. The idea that she could have stopped the abuse is, to me, unfair and unreasonable. The Navy itself failed to stop him.

Val, as I called her, was set to return home when she was told of the charges and that she wouldn't be leaving Bahrain as planned. She was afraid that she would never see the United States again. My mentor ended up taking her life.

I've spent more time on military bases than I've wanted to as a civilian, and one thing I've noticed is the smug superiority some officers have towards enlisted folk. So I don't find it surprising at all that every time we need a gay DADT discharge hero, they're usually commissioned officers (with the notable exception of Eric Alva).

I know that we also talk a lot about the military, honor, etc., when we're talking DADT, but I don't see much honor in forcing someone into a dog kennel. Or threatening women who've been sexually assaulted so that they don't come forward. Or charging a subordinate so that the officer who was really at fault doesn't get his record unprettied.

DADT might have some culpability here, but the fact that these folks are as sadistic and self-centered and clubby as humans are generally is also to blame. And that's why just repealing DADT won't solve all of the problems for GLB and especially T people in the military.

While this was waiting in line to be posted, I found this:

[Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk] supports continuing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays serving in the military.

"I think it's worked out well," he said. "Keeping that all out of the workplace makes common sense."

Oh, yeah, sit around and talking about prostitutes and sex, but don't you dare talk about gay prostitutes and gay sex, because that's so much worse.

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I agree that Cal Thomas is an idiot. I even agree with some of your arguments against DADT, but I'm afraid that's where it ends. Your casual disrespect for the American military as a whole (not limited to outdated policies like DADT that we are trying to change) makes me wonder if you are really the best voice for repeal and change. The vast majority of the Servicemembers who are discharged under DADT are enlisted, just as the vast majority of Servicemembers are enlisted. Every discharge marks the end of another potentially great career, enlisted or officer. But while attempting to publicize the tragic story of their discharge, you're disrespecting the path they would have chosen should they have been allowed to stay.

My fear is that the public might see an enlisted Servicemember as "just another soldier" we can do without because there are ample replacements. Perhaps the reason officers' stories are featured so prominently is because there are so relatively few of them. Whatever the source of your disdain, perhaps you might consider that these officers are speaking out as leaders, even under the circumstances of their discharges. Lt Dan Choi, for example, has championed the cause and is providing a voice for all Servicemembers facing discharge, just as he led his soldiers in the Army. Sure, there may be some bad officers around, and many of them favor DADT. Who better to speak out against them than shining examples of true officership?

Thanks for commenting. To be clear, I didn't write this post as a "voice for repeal and change," I wrote it as I write everything here on TBP: to elicit discussion of news, politics, and culture. Most of our readers are LGBTQ here; they are the choir, and therefore don't need to be preached to.

You seem to agree with most of my assessment, that most people who are discharged and who are gay in the military are enlisted, not officers. I disagree, though, that most would have become officers eventually - there are quite a few people who get out after a few years and never become officers, and a few others who have entire careers without becoming a commissioned officer.

This is the part where I think we disagree the most:

My fear is that the public might see an enlisted Servicemember as "just another soldier" we can do without because there are ample replacements.

Everyone who gets outed has their career in the military, whether it was to last 4 years or 20, terminated. And, every LGB person who stays in the military as long as DADT is in place has to needlessly suffer because they have to hide their identity or because of the abuse Joseph Rocha describes.

There I can sympathize. Where I can't really sympathize is with the arguments that we need more people in the military (which is huge and is a major drain on our nation's finances) or that we need more officers in the military. It doesn't make sense to me, as someone who opposed the war in Iraq and who thinks that we should draw-down and pull out of Afghanistan, to say that the reason DADT is bad is because people are leaving the military.

And it's great that Dan Choi is coming forward and speaking out. I have nothing against him - but maybe it would speak more to people if the heroes that get put out there in ads, in front of others, etc., weren't all officers? There is a real class and cultural difference, which is probably why Joseph Rocha's account of life under DADT struck me much more than other ones that I've read - I have more to identify with someone like him than I do with someone like Dan Choi (again, nothing against Dan Choi).

I did not mean to imply that enlisted Servicemembers who are discharged would eventually become officers. I was instead referring to your disdain for the military, and that if they were allowed to stay in the military, even openly, you don't seem to respect the military or their devotion to it. The real crime against LGBT Servicemembers is not that they're being harassed and discharged, but that they're being denied their desire to pursue their chosen careers.

Joseph Rocha's account of his harassment hits me as well, because it brings to light the side effects of DADT that are so often overlooked. In the military, the command climate is often one of ridicule towards LGBT issues because DADT effectively squashes any type of discourse supporting LGBT through fear (or threat) of persecution.

Incidentally, I agree that the military has been misused to advance instead of protect American interests. Unfortunately, the invasion ordered by a previous administration cannot simply be undone. The current administration has no choice but to try to make the best of a bad situation while keeping an eye on the ultimate goal of withdrawing forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, I think there is tremendous honor and virtue in devoting one's life to the defense of one's nation. I also happen to think that the US military is the world's finest, not because of its ability to wage war with superior firepower, but because of its extremely high standards of discipline in waging war in the defense of America, its interests, and its citizens. Ironic as it may seem, the ultimate goal of the military is peace, and despite recent challnges to that goal, I think everyone who devotes his or her life to the military shares that goal.

With all that altruism out of me, I'll just add one final point. I agree the military is too large. In fact, the recent Marine Corps effort to grow the force led to an increase in retention and the noncommissioned officer ranks have swelled disproportionately. If all these people who threaten to get out if the ban on LGBT service were lifted actually did, we might just end up with an appropriately-sized force that also possesses an appropriate view of diversity and equality--definitely not bad qualities when you're looking to employ a force that isn't inclined to shoot first and ask questions later.

Thomas avoids taking his arguments to their logical conclusion. He's not fighting for the right of LGBT people to serve quietly, honorably, and fairly. He's arguing why lesbians and gays should not serve at all.

My challenge to supporters of DADT is this: Since it is important to recognize, as you insist, that gays and lesbians are disruptive to cohesion and morale, what is your plan to replace DADT with an outright ban?

Enacting a ban might start with incoming service members, counseling them that not being fully heterosexual in thoughts or behaviors means that their service is not wanted. Considering active duty folks, set a date for the full ban to become effective a year or two down the road. Terms for honorable discharges and benefit packages would need to be worked out. Discharge panels would need to be staffed up. The Defense Department's PR folks would need to craft the messages about how, as matter of honorable service to their country, LGBT service members are being asked to step forward.

Oh no, no, no... you've misunderstood, most DADT supporters will reply.

Umm.... I think I've understood just fine: Cal Thomas is a coward.

He hides behind being "sympathetic to the story told by Joseph Rocha." He says encouraging or allowing gays and lesbians to serve is the wrong thing to do, and the reason "few leaders ... wish to give voice to opposing points of view" is fear of being accused of homophobia. But, he himself is afraid to name, much less stand up behind, the obvious alternative.

Absolute. I think that the only person at the Times who realized that Cal's whole premise was off was the title writer, who put this title on the column: "Don't ask, tell or legitimize".

Yeah, "legitimize." That's the entire connection. Which I think is telling - the Religious Right, etc., realize that they can't eliminate homosexuality. Ted Haggard is probably the best example of why not - be bought into all their dogma and still couldn't stay away from the boys.

But at least if they feel ashamed about it, you know? Which is why Pride (as a concept) bothers these people - it's OK to break all their stupid rules, so long as you feel ashamed about it.

And that's all Cal Thomas wants from gays in the military - a little shame. Because not forcing a significant subgroup of soldiers to live under constant shame and fear of being outed is "experimental psychology."

I'm a 20 year veteran of the US Navy.

Who gets to serve?
Whoever is able bodied and can do the job reliably, that has the maturity needed along with the skills and knowledge. The ones who can stand when others flee to face whatever danger there is. The one’s willing to sacrifice themselves for others.

The “Open to all behaviors” comment? I’ve worked with people who entered the Navy using waivers. Persons convicted of;
man-slaughter (discharged due to being a total nut job)
felony evasion and drunk driving (discharged after yet another felony evasion and drunk driving incident)
possession with intent to distribute (guess what, yep, caught by the DEA, FBI and Customs transporting)
felony robbery (…a bank job on base. Another two guys who did a smash and grab that cost you the tax payer 1.8 million dollars.)
rape (date rape drugs came along and he got bagged the 3rd or 4th time)
child molestation (worked closely with him, wanted to do something very nasty when I found out)
Yeah, those were a bunch of upright folk there all right.

‘Countries that allow Gays to serve in the military’
All of our NATO allies allow GLBTI citizens to serve. Try being in a NATO battle group on a US Navy ship, they not only look down their noses at us but ridicule us to our faces as well.

‘The mission is National defense, not experimental physiology’
Believe it or not, those people defending your asses are people. The military doesn’t really care about them and do physiological tests and experiments all the time. When was the last time you just had to work 12 days straight with no time off and minimal rest? Just so someone with a PhD could gauge our reactions…

On Rocha
Yeah, what happened to him is typical when crusty’s (chiefs) run wild with little or no supervision.
PO1 Valdivia… well, I was a PO1. It’s typical of chiefs to blame everyone but the chief for the chiefs actions. Been there, seen that. A PO1 or another Junior person cannot bring charges up on a senior person unless directed by someone senior to the person being put on report. (a PO1 cannot write up a chief unless a senior chief or officer says too. They can lodge a complaint thru various other means but those routes are not ‘official’.) Some commands I was in were horrific for these kinds of things.
But these abuses will not stop until DADT is removed and GLBTI citizens are allowed to serve openly.

"I think it's worked out well," he said. "Keeping that all out of the workplace makes common sense."
Anyone saying DADT has worked out well is on some good crack. And ‘keeping it out of the workplace’? The only time I ever stumbled across anyone having sex in the workplace was heterosexuals. Not a single gay or lesbian had the stupidity to do that. The only people talking about sex? Geeze, only the guys and no one else. They still act like the workplace is the highschool boys locker room. Totally forgot Tailhook.

I have one simple request, about which I am adamant, and which is being consistently ignored in the discussion of DADT repeal.

Transfolk must be included.

They must be mentioned in the articles on it, they must be recognized in the same way, they must be considered part of the struggle, since they have to deal with, bluntly, all of the above treatment described, all of the above discrimination involved, and then more on top of that. And that includes the straight ones.

Erasure of their experience is an aspect of privilege, and I cannot be silent while such happens in a movement dedicated to all the equal parts of such.

So I will ask nicely, here at Bilerico, one last time.

Please stop leaving us out of such arguments. If you need to do more research, fine, do it. If you need to ask questions, fine, do it. If you have fears and concerns about doing so, then let us know them so we can help you in them.

But please, stop leaving us hanging out to dry.

OK, question:

I'm operating what I've read from trans folk who would know more about this than I do that ending DADT wouldn't end the ban on transgender people serving in the military. Is proposed legislation to repeal DADT, which generally goes on to include a ban on discrimination along the lines of sexual orientation, but not gender ID (none has been introduced, but based on the way folks like Patrick Murphy have been discussing it).

It seems to me that the ban on LGB servicemembers is legally distinct from the ban on T servicemembers, and that writing a post about DADT and saying that repealing it must be done to help trans folk would be false inclusion of the sort media folks engage in when they say someone like John Aravosis speaks for the "LGBT community." I'm not all about "LGBT" being a fancy word for "gay," and so I try to stay away from false inclusion here on TBP.

So, in application, Cal Thomas wrote a column about people who want to end DADT and why DADT should be kept. He does mention transgender people once near his introduction, he spends the rest of the column talking about "homosexual behavior." Joseph Rocha then writes his column about having to hide the fact that he was gay. The Mark Kirk bit at the end might be the closest to talking about transgender people, even though he specifically mentions DADT, because he uses the phrase "all that." I doubt someone like him makes a distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation.

So, since you say questions are fine, here are mine:

a. Should folks working to repeal DADT be agitating to end the ban on transgender people serving in the military in the same law?

b. If we're talking about ending DADT in and of itself in the status quo (not about new legislation), then should we be talking about transgender servicemembers? Is DADT the source of anti-trans discrimination in the military?

c. Is the movement to repeal DADT like the movement for ENDA pre-2007, in that trans people aren't included when there's no reason they shouldn't be other than a lack of education among LGB people (myself included)?

Of course, these questions are directed just as dyssonance, but anyone who wants to take them up.

a. Should folks working to repeal DADT be agitating to end the ban on transgender people serving in the military in the same law?

Yes, they should -- because, in the end, you cannot stop gay folks from being removed as long as gay folks who are also trans are removed. The two concepts may be legally disassociated in USMJ, but they still attack the same groups.

Furthermore, transfolk has lived with a version of DADT that's been around for an extraordinarily long time, and post-transition trans folk cannot serve if they've had surgery.

The goals of the movement are ultimately noble ones -- to ensure that those who wish to fight for their country may do so. IT reaches beyond the military sphere, as well, since many contractors have to adhere to portions of the USMJ and the effect that trans status has on security clearance.

Yet if we are denied that right on account of who we are, and those seeking to deal with DADT choose to specifically ignore that instead of agitate for real change, which they usually do using the acronym LGBT or its variances, and even when they speak to just Gay and Lesbian folks -- well, they aren't actually trying to do that if they ignore the impact on able bodied transfolk.

b. If we're talking about ending DADT in and of itself in the status quo (not about new legislation), then should we be talking about transgender servicemembers? Is DADT the source of anti-trans discrimination in the military?

1. - DADT, in and of itself, was an attempt to make it "legal" to serve, lest anyone forget this. Prior to DADT, it was "illegal" to serve, just as it is for transfolks now. Then, as now, transfolks were ignored and glossed over out of institutionalized transphobia -- the fear that transgender folks would place things at risk, in specific.

2. - To an extent, yes, it is -- the general military is no more informed than the typical person, and so they tend to perceive things as all being part of some sexual orientation stew.

That said, however, DADT is a confusing and structurally obtuse rule tht is misused -- and more than one gay member prior to it was kicked out under the trans issues laws (Klinger from MASH not withstandng).

c. Is the movement to repeal DADT like the movement for ENDA pre-2007, in that trans people aren't included when there's no reason they shouldn't be other than a lack of education among LGB people (myself included)?

Yes and no.

From your perspective, and looking at it from your understanding, yes -- that is, no one is aware of the issues that surround it because they are lost in their own privilege (their own expectations) and haven't really considered the full and wide sweeping impact of this because they haven't had cause to look outside their own experience or they, themselves, have issues with the idea of a guy in drag in the foxhole (which, interestingly enough, was a comment one would hear about gay people when was in the Army before DADT).

From our perspective, no, since we have been working to educate at fairly constant pitch and speed like never before. We shouldn't have to do this -- that was one of the lessons from the ENDA horror.

Everything should be all part of the whole. DADT, Marriage/DOMA, the immigration issue (we're affected too), everything -- transfolks are in *every* group out there, not merely the LGB. That means there's no consideration we shouldn't be included in, and *fully* so, since we are gay and lesbian and bisexual and straight. Our presence means the seeking for "gay rights" is a seeking for straight rights, as well.

IF the movement to make a change isn't founded in a movement to make a difference for all of us, then it's exclusionary, when nothing out there is exclusionary.

None of those things only affect gay folks. That's why there is such power to the idea of making a change.

But when one shares an inclusive idea in an exclusive manner, you end up with exclusion, not inclusion.

As an Honorably discharged Army Infantry Vet who completed my service contract I think the arguement over don't ask don't tell is masking a larger problem. As Americans we should wish to live in a Country so great that all Americans should want to serve and be encouraged to serve regardless of the fact they may be physically handicapped, lgbt, a minority, Christian, Jewish or even Muslim.
We've allowed whoever it may be to convince us that being different is UnAmerican or less than human instead of Diversity is what makes America great.When we over come our differences and work towards a common goal great things happen when we allow ourselves to be separated bad things happen history proves this.
If all life is truly sacred then why our we fighting for things that divide and separate us that much more.Why not fight to make the laws about murder and employment truly equal for all not just us.By doing that we end don't ask don't tell without making it just an lgbt issue and elevate ourselves above partisian politics.
P.S I'm proud to say I was enlisted(as in not an officer) because in the Army it's an insult to call an enlisted mam or sir as we work for a living.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 16, 2009 11:17 AM

You neglected to include Thailand...

The American navy does joint exercises here all the time.

"Well, you can always depend upon Robert Ganshorn to produce something particularly wacky."

I am certainly not saying that Mr.Thomas is right, but neither is Glen Beck or Rushbo. With so many choices for news people get to choose the slant of news they want to read.

If any of these "journalists" can carve out 5% of the American consumption for news their articles will be written and they will be well paid for doing so. They are not journalists as much as paid performers of the Jerry Springer variety.

It is up to the consumer to use his or her mind to determine what is worth reading. This is an article that "preached to the choir" and that is the Thomas audience.


Michael @ | October 16, 2009 1:52 PM

A. It is true that more enlisted personnel are discharged than officers. The explanations for this are obvious:

1. Officers are more likely to be careerists and, therefore, all the more focused on keeping their sexuality secret. Victor Fehrenbach succeeded for 18 years in the Air Force until he was outed by an apparent psychopath, and now stands to lose tens of thousands of dollars in retirement benefits he’d otherwise been eligible for had he lasted just two more years.

2. Except for those officers who receive their promotions upon graduation from a 4-yr. military academy, "through the ranks" officers have had more experience keeping their sexuality secret.

B: Those who've made a public issue of their discharges over the years have neither been "usually" nor "all" officers. While there seems to be a trend toward more officers doing it, historically it's been about an even split.

The first to do it, Leonard Matlovich, in 1975, was not an officer. Copy Berg, whose case was joined with his by the courts, was. As I recall, most others were enlisted until Col. Grete Cammermeyer’s 1992 case. Navy Lt. Tracy Thorne [-Begland] outed himself on "Nightline" that May...a few hours after non-officer Keith Meinhold outed himself on "ABC Evening News."

Zoe Dunning was an officer when she outed herself in January of ’93. Jose Zuniga was not when he outed himself during the 1993 gay march on Washington. Not only was Eric Alva not an officer, but neither were Alex Nicholson nor Jarrod Chlapowski, featured in the recent documentary “Ask Not” and leading the current Voices of Honor cross country anti-DADT educational tour.

The larger point is that no one “decides” to place officers over enlisted in the limelight. The process is driven first by the decision of the individual to publicly fight and so few do of any rank [out of the tens of thousands that have been discharged since Leonard came forward in 1975] that advocacy groups are thankful for every one.

And whether “the choir” thinks a non-officer is a better poster person is irrelevant. The average American gravitates quickest toward higher achievers as they define them, be it sports, business, the arts [there’s no Oscar for “extras”], or the military.

RE transgender and DADT: while it is imperative that we advocate for the right of the transgendered to be in the military if they choose, and the bigotry that perpetuates DADT is at its core the same as transphobia, technically DADT cannot be used as a mechanism to discharge anyone transgender.

Finally, though I was indicted by a federal grand jury for refusing to be inducted into the Army many moons ago, one grows weary of the repeated clichés about the inherent evils of the military. Their purpose is merely to be our police force in the world community. In order to justify broadbrush demonizing the institution for the many sins of many individuals one must similarly unilaterally oppose domestic police forces for theirs.

Try calling the Boy Scouts the next time someone steals your tofu.

RE transgender and DADT: while it is imperative that we advocate for the right of the transgendered to be in the military if they choose, and the bigotry that perpetuates DADT is at its core the same as transphobia, technically DADT cannot be used as a mechanism to discharge anyone transgender.

This is incorrect.

The law can be, and has been, used to discharge anyone who can be presumed to have admitted homosexuality.

They need not ever say it themselves, either -- their actions can account for it.

Such as being a bit less manly, or not having an interest in women, or -- well, as I noted, the same things happen to transfolks as are described earlier.

Even among Rangers.

I served prior to DADT, and saw how the rules to remove trans folks were used to remove gay folks.

And there are, of course, those transgender folks who are gay crossdressers (not transsexuals, nor drag queens, but another group). And they get smacked for it.

Transgender is not *only* transsexuals and not all transsexuals are transgender.

So, seriously, re-think that concept.

Michael @ | October 16, 2009 9:46 PM

YOUR "concepts" of varying expressions of gender are irrelevant to me for the purposes of this thread, the subject of which remains the reality of DADT no matter how aggressively you keep trying to hijack it.

Ignorant commanders do consciously confuse some nonconforming gender expression with homosexuality and some move to discharge the person under the latter label. Others know the difference but dishonestly use DADT as a way of getting rid of someone they perceive as being [to them] unacceptably nonconforming, but the "charge" will be homosexuality. No institution is better at finding a way to get rid of someone they don't want than the military, but as vile as many of its commanders are, it would be rare to find one that would be stupid enough to try to use DADT to openly discharge someone labeled anything other than "gay."

Even the 2008 survey of servicemembers by Transgender American Veterans Association did not assert that anyone is being DISCHARGED as anything other than "gay." The respondents reported being suspected of being or asked if they were GAY. Period.

Ah. I see.

Well, yes'm, Mr. Michael, sir, I'se be a good lil tranny and not hijack ya'lls thread no mo.

I'll head on back to collectin table scraps ya'll deign to give transfolk.