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I was born in a military family and grew up in the military community. I’m just as well informed as you. You simply can’t separate the military from the LGBT community, it’s impossible. Looking back on our past, any armed force has always led to complex same-sex relationship and gender non-conformity. There have been multiple historical papers looking at the unique social atmosphere of an army, and various attempts to encourage or stop the relationships that naturally came about as a result of this. You can’t really keep people from having sex, all you can do is redirect it, keep them from having inappropriate relationships, and give appropriate care. That’s a lot more effective than silencing and ignoring soldiers who don’t fit your ideal.

Ultimately it’s futile to try to throw us back into the McCarthy era, where loyal service members desperately tried to hide their orientation to keep the job that allowed them to stay unmarried in a family focused society. It would divert important government funds, and more importantly jeopardize our military more than LGBT service members ever could (see this long term study on the effects of openly serving gay soldiers in the Israeli army, and how the world didn’t come to an end). What do you suggest we do when someone from a religious family starts questioning their gender identity after basic training, kick them out and sacrifice all that investment? It would just mean another dead homeless trans kid, more wasted money, and lower recruitment numbers. Trans and gay people sometimes serve essential functions (like these translators) and even if they didn’t they have just as much a right to be in the military as Joe from Nebraska. It might be a horrible war-machine, but it’s also a powerful tool for escaping from poverty and no one should be denied that because they make you uncomfortable. They’re citizens, they’re capable, and they don’t put an undue burden on anyone if they’re treated like everyone else and people like you don’t try to make this into a debate.

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