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Old Aug 15, 2017   #1
•SmallBowl
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Transgender citizens and the military
Hi there! To generate a little activity in this board here is a relevant thread!!

Ok, as you all know, U.S. President Donald Trump banned transgender people from serving in the U.S. military in any capacity. If you dont know this, what?!?!?! Where have you been living?!?!?! This thread serves as a discussion point for this, and the questions posed by this thread are as follows:
  1. Firstly a big grand question, was Trump right to impose this ban?
  2. Does the increased frequency of mental health issues in transgender people give Trump an/or American military reason to be concerned about their transgender troops in possession of lethal arms?
  3. Trump claims to have support from his superior military advisors, but the reactions from military generals make the decision seem sudden to them, does this give american military personal and/or american citizens reason to be concerned?
  4. Trump claimed that he would protect LGBTQ citizens and made some specific speeches on LGBTQ citizens in his campaign, has he gone back on this pledge, in part, in full, or not at all?



Discuss.
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Old Aug 15, 2017   #2
+Bodhisattva
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Alright let's address it one at a time:

1. Was Trump right to impose the ban - Well he's the commander in chief, so he certainly in that regard has the authority. But no, I don't think he's right to do this ban. And it's not even fully practiced, we have people in the military of all branches say "I don't care what he said, I'm not imposing that."

If you're an American citizen and you're benefiting from all the freedoms our military has kept possible without contributing yourself, it's ludicrous to say "No I don't want to be kept safe by a transgender person". Now, you're active military, we have a dicey situation here. I want my troops to be comfortable BUT, I don't care if they're uncomfortable if they are standing on shaky ground morally. If every troop member was polled and said that 90% of them didn't want African-American soldiers, I don't give a shit, I'm saying don't ban them.

2. Does the increase frequency give them concern about lethal firearms - well, they got a funny time caring about that. I work as an EMT, and part of my job working in the private sector is doing what are called "Baker Acts". That is when someone is deemed a danger to themselves or others, more than likely because they've voiced a want or created an attempt to kill themselves. I've worked well over a hundred Baker Acts, and I can tell you, more than half of them are ex military. So if you're telling me the government is banning people for this problem and that problem when it comes to depression and other non-psychotic mental illnesses, I want to hear what are they doing about our current soldiers. Because they are turning the most healthiest of men and women into manic depressive suicidal patients anyways. Yes its a risk, but maybe this will help fund the mental health support they clearly need in the branches anyways.

3. You got a thousand reasons to be concerned about Trump's presidency, but them feeling broadsided by this decision is a blip on a much bigger radar dot. He's escalating a nuclear stand off with a dictator as we speak with improvised speeches that makes him sound like he's binge watching Game of Thrones. Yeah it's not good, but it's moot compared to all the other lousy impromptu decisions he's making.

4. Yes. It's in the name, lgbTq. He stole a few votes from HC independents by taking a few pictures with a rainbow flag, but this president gets a failing grade on all accounts of LGBTQ.
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Old Aug 16, 2017   #3
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Well I'm a Snow Mexican (Trump's Tweet) and I've still heard of this on the radio and I was outraged.

Does he have the right to impose the ban? Yes, I suppose he does. Should he? NO. This is where counselors come in to play. It's called listening to people once in a while. As Bod said, he definitely has the authority but... And I was glad to hear that it wasn't imposed in all branches because the higher ups refused but still. Keep in mind people had to vote to make a change this big.

HAH! Number two is ridiculous in all aspects. Hell, the other day I was listening to the radio (this seems to be something I do a lot) and they were talking about how often times that the transgender person is treated as more of an equal in the military. Out there it's life or death (I'm talking war zones) and you just don't give af whether or not this person truly thinks themselves a man or a woman. Which led to them having less mental issues when they served in the army so the question of should they be allowed to possess lethal firearms is an incredibly thick one because when we talk about mental illnesses we're talking depression and the likes. Not fucking schizophrenia. A gun in the hands of a depressed person should have no negative effects.

He claims to have support? Lol no. There's proof that some are refusing to reinforce it. Honestly it gives Americans a shiton of reasons to be concerned. Trump seems to have little to no difficulty at passing outrageous laws and his people don't even bat an eye when he comes up with them.

Last but not least: I don't think anything he says can be sincerely trusted and I agree with Bod on point #4.

It'll be interesting to see a Trump supporter's point of view on this and I hope we have one. When I was younger I seriously considered my gender and to see people being attacked for what they believe and sent away from a place where they feel like equals is ri-di-cu-lous.

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Old Aug 16, 2017   #4
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1. No, he's not right in the ban, and his poor attempts at justifying it highlight how woefully uninformed he is on the topic. He says it'll save money, but funding for transgender services by the military is lower than the money spent on erectile dysfunction medication by the military. If he truly wanted to save money in the military, there are larger options he could have cut.

All indications point that he proposed the ban on a whim to throw a bone for his religious right support base, rather than any sound judgement on military efficacy or shaving government spending.

2. Mental illness apparently isn't a good enough reason to keep guns out of the hands of civilians, so why should it apply to transgender service people? If the rationale is a higher occurrence of mental illness is grounds to prohibit serving, then veterans should be excluded from reenlistment because they also have a higher rate of occurrence for mental illness. And that's an obviously silly proposal.

There are already evaluations every soldier has to go through to be approved for deployment. Screening for psychological issues is one of them. It doesn't matter if the population is more prone to mental illness because there's already a process for screening the population for mental illness. It's throwing the baby out with the bath water. This would be like saying all women shouldn't be allowed to serve in the military because they have higher rates of failing the basic physical requirements. It doesn't make sense when you already have a test in place to weed those people you wouldn't want out already, and it's standard practice to use it.

3. Trump in general should already give people concern. He's a rash individual that operates under the principle "measure never, cut as often as needed". He relies too heavily on gut instinct and impulse, and has dangerous ideas on what constitutes power. He also has no respect for the military, despite what he claims. He idolizes it, but he doesn't have the slightest respect for the people that make up the institution. He's mocked John McCain, saying that he doesn't deserve to be called a war hero because he was caught while serving in Vietnam, while Trump dodged the draft for Vietnam because of bone spurs in his feet, a readily treatable problem. He also called his struggle with STDs as his "personal Vietnam", which shows just how little he can empathize with actual military personnel. He also joked that he should get a Medal of Honor for not catching any STDs despite being promiscuous. Even as a joke, it's of poor taste.

That's also ignoring the fact he didn't know what the nuclear triad was, and apparently questions why we bother maintaining nukes if we don't use them. He's a kid who thinks playing with toy soldiers qualifies him to deploy real ones.

4. He's never given LGTBQ rights a thought. He'll claim whatever he wants to get votes, but his actions all point towards giving no fucks to protecting LGTBQ rights. All of his political appointees that have some degree of influence in the field of LGTBQ rights are all "pro-religion", which usually translates to anti-LGTBQ, and he's yet to show any degree of support for the community. This is ignoring this obvious discrimination against the T in LGTBQ.
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Old Aug 16, 2017   #5
+Ele
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Originally Posted by MagnusSol View Post
It'll be interesting to see a Trump supporter's point of view on this and I hope we have one.

Not a Trump supporter, but I do have some alternate views on this (i.e. being trans isn't all roses and sunshine, it's got a dark underside that nobody talks about in polite conversation to avoid seeming bigoted).

Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
1. Was Trump right to impose the ban - Well he's the commander in chief, so he certainly in that regard has the authority. But no, I don't think he's right to do this ban. And it's not even fully practiced, we have people in the military of all branches say "I don't care what he said, I'm not imposing that."

Yeah, he didn't actually present any policy or run any procedures to make this happen. He just made a tweet - So it's not actually a thing.

Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
So if you're telling me the government is banning people for this problem and that problem when it comes to depression and other non-psychotic mental illnesses, I want to hear what are they doing about our current soldiers. Because they are turning the most healthiest of men and women into manic depressive suicidal patients anyways. Yes its a risk, but maybe this will help fund the mental health support they clearly need in the branches anyways.

40% of transgender people have tried killing themselves before the age of 25. The perfectly normal men and women who haven't tried killing themselves before they enter the military still end up suffering PTSD and committing acts of harm against themselves or others, so you can be sure that the trans who were/are suicidal would not cope well.

I firmly believe it's not a good idea to let people who are/have been suicidal into the military. As Oracle said later on, they run psychological tests for deployment and I'm sure (in Aus they do at least), they run psychological tests making sure no suicidal people get into the military in the first place.

There doesn't need to be a 'transgender' ban and there isn't.

Governments should (and most do) conduct psychological screening for initial entry and deployments and if any red flags pop up, the applicant should be denied. No need for a blanket ban against an identity group, just continue to ban the ones that were/are suicidal and who don't meet the psychological (or any other) requirements.

Last edited by Ele; Aug 16, 2017 at 04:38 AM..
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Old Aug 16, 2017   #6
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My counter to that Ele is we need to consider why transgender people kill themselves. Shot in the dark - I'd imagine they can't get their gender reassignment surgery, and are generally treated as 2nd class citizens.

The military already pays for ancillary surgeries with a certain amount of commitment (I think it's 3 years?), and well, it doesn't help someone's cause when their country says you're not good enough to defend our freedoms.

Gender reassignment surgery being paid for by the military is a difficult prospect, but not unobtainable. If we're going to spend as much as we do on defense spending, might as well take a moral high ground on a subject like this. From what I've been told, you can already get breast augmentation on the military dime.

Where you and I both agree is the government simply doesn't do enough in clinical/mental health for our prospective and current troops.
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Old Aug 16, 2017   #7
+Ele
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Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
My counter to that Ele is we need to consider why transgender people kill themselves. Shot in the dark - I'd imagine they can't get their gender reassignment surgery, and are generally treated as 2nd class citizens.

You're right, that is a shot in the dark. There's not been enough research done in this area. I think that their suicidal tendencies are probably at least just as biological as they social, solely because rarely is anything just affected by one source.
Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
The military already pays for ancillary surgeries with a certain amount of commitment (I think it's 3 years?), and well, it doesn't help someone's cause when their country says you're not good enough to defend our freedoms.

Gender reassignment surgery being paid for by the military is a difficult prospect, but not unobtainable. If we're going to spend as much as we do on defense spending, might as well take a moral high ground on a subject like this. From what I've been told, you can already get breast augmentation on the military dime.

I haven't looked into this myself, but according to Shapiro (who, while he is a smarmy bastard, usually get his facts right), the rate of suicide among post-op transpeople isn't much different from pre-op.

Whether or not that's actually the case, it'd be worth investigating the effect reassignment surgery has on mental health. I've heard, anecdotally, all sorts of different stories. I'd definitely want it fully investigated before the government started using my money to fund it.
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Old Aug 16, 2017   #8
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All of what you've said so far is pretty fair. Despite what Shapiro says, I have a hard time believing the suicide rates don't go down post-op, but until I find the right credible research, we'll agree to disagree. And yeah, these ideas are speculative.

I think it's fair to say that yes we need tons more research; however, it's still wrong in my mind to suppress minority because of... statistics. We're talking about every transgendered person and placing this blanket statement that they have more mental problems and higher suicide rates. Well yeah, that's true, but that doesn't mean the one standing right in front of his commanding officer isn't mentally healthy. He/she/they/whatever pronoun they use could pass a mental health exam with a psychologist... possibly a test that present day current straight white veterans would fail.

To apply the statistic to a whole demographic isn't acceptable. This isn't car insurance...
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Old Aug 16, 2017   #9
+Ele
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Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
I think it's fair to say that yes we need tons more research; however, it's still wrong in my mind to suppress minority because of... statistics. We're talking about every transgendered person and placing this blanket statement that they have more mental problems and higher suicide rates.

They do have higher rates of suicide. This is fact. Nothing wrong with that, ain't a 'hate fact' as some extremists would say it is. No need to liken me to a car insurance salesman..

Anyway, my point has always been that we should not accept suicidal people into the military, not that we shouldn't accept transgendered people - So what's the issue?

Last edited by Ele; Aug 16, 2017 at 07:31 AM..
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Old Aug 16, 2017   #10
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Originally Posted by Ele View Post
They do have higher rates of suicide. This is fact. Nothing wrong with that, ain't a 'hate fact' as some extremists would say it is. No need to liken me to a car insurance salesman..

Anyway, my point has always been that we should not accept suicidal people into the military, not that we shouldn't accept transgendered people - So what's the issue?

We're on the same page.

No it's clearly a fact. I want to see more research on suicidal rates pre and post op for sure though. But if your bigger point is no suicidal soldiers, then yeah, same page. The initial topic was "should Donald Trump ban transgender military", to which my answer is a loud no. Me likening you to the car insurance salesman was from the impression that you didn't want transgender in the military due to those statistics, which you've now clarified isn't what you're suggesting.
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