Author Topic: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military  (Read 2996 times)

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Offline Wendywishes

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Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« on: May 18, 2017, 10:47:40 pm »
Well, she's finally free!  I wish her the best of luck.

On the topic of being transgender in the military, hopefully by now everyone knows it is allowed (since 2016) and service members have access to medical care.  All branches are supposed to have all personnel 100% trained on the policies before 1 July this year.  It's not quite perfect, but pretty darn good all considered.

If anyone has any questions about the policy, comments or anything related to transgender service members and the military, I am available to chat and/or will answer/give advice as best I can.  I am currently a "senior" member serving in the military and am responsible for training on the policy...which is really ironic as I am transgender but have not "come out" yet... :laugh:
I'll do what I can to show her the way,
And maybe one day I will free her,
Though I know no one can see her...
- Cat Stevens

Offline Georgette

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 12:04:17 am »
Saw a pic of her, and she looks pretty good.  Much better than when she went in.

I have some friends and have met others that are in the military.  They are very happy with the way things are going.
AMAB - NOV 13 1950
HRT - Start 1975 / End 1985
Moved in with SO ( Also a MtF ) - 1976 / She didn't believe in same sex marriage
Name Change - NOV 30 1976
FT - Formal letter from work - APR 12 1977
SRS - SEP 13 1977
SO died - OCT 03 2014  38 years not a bad run


Offline Deborah

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 04:04:08 am »
I'm retired from the Military and last year I told my primary care physician at my Military hospital I was trans and that I had been paying for all my transition related care outside from my own pocket.  She was extremely helpful in getting me to change over my prescriptions and semi-annual blood tests to the Army facilities to lower my out of pocket costs.  The mental health people at the hospital were also very helpful in getting me a referral for outside counseling.  While I wish they would provide more, I was overall pretty happy with their attitudes and desire to do whatever they could within the current system, particularly since that was in Aug before the DoD had announced its formal implementation plans.  People can say what they will about the U.S. Military but we have an outstanding medical system!


Conform and be dull. —James Frank Dobie, The Voice of the Coyote

Offline AnneK

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 08:32:19 am »
Quote
Saw a pic of her, and she looks pretty good.  Much better than when she went in.

Here's her new look.
https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/05/18/chelsea-manning-reveals-new-look-after-release-from-prison.html
I'm a 67 year old AMAB who has been thinking about SRS for many years.  I also was a  full cross dresser for a few years.  I wear a bra, pantyhose and nail polish daily because it just feels right.

Started HRT April 17, 2019.

Offline Wendywishes

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 12:16:00 pm »
I can honestly say I am surprised and pleased at how well the military is handling this.  However, there will be many hurdles and bumps along the way, especially these first couple of years.  There is still a lot (and by a lot I mean A LOT) of culture and policy that needs to change here for this to work.

Deborah, I'm very glad to hear you are getting help and cooperation through your military hospital.  Military medicine is one area that was not ready or equipped to handle this change.  The policy falls just short of requiring all medical care to come from a military medical facility...everything from diagnoses, counseling, and even Gender Confirmation Surgery!!  So, I imagine there are a lot of military providers frantically reading medical journals and websites to try to get a handle on things.  The estimated percentage of active duty members that will ultimately seek definitive care for their dysphoria is very low, maybe around 1%.  However, from the mental health professionals through the general practitioners and specialists, this is all territory they are not used to dealing with. 
I'll do what I can to show her the way,
And maybe one day I will free her,
Though I know no one can see her...
- Cat Stevens

Offline kylie_rush

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 06:58:32 am »
The V.A. in my city has been the corner stone for me in my transition. The mental health facilities there have given me the most amazing therapist, support group, endocrinologist and various other resources all in one location all specifically for Transgender veterans and their health. I was a little skeptical reaching out but to my surprise I don't think I could be getting more or better care anywhere else.

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Offline Cimara

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 07:49:56 am »
I did not know the military allowed trans people to be there.  How does that work? Is it people who come out as trans after they had already enlisted. Or can a trans person who has already transitioned be accepted? Do they allow a transperson who has transitioned but not yet had SRS join?  I find the fact the military is accepting trans people very hard to believe. Im not saying its not true or anything, it just really surprises me. But I can't imagine why any transwoman would ever want to join the military anyway. I can see transguys being content in the military though.
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Offline 2.B.Dana

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 09:03:23 am »
I would have to echo kylie_rush as my experience with the VA has been great. While frustrating at times due to the learning curve by some involved though. I could not be on this transition journey without them. They have arranged a gender therapist for me and I see an endocrinologist for HRT as well. I am looking to go to speech therapy this fall.

One thing that pushed me over the edge was sitting in the mental health waiting room reading Marine Times which had the story of an active duty FTM. Quite inspiring. I figured if the Marine Corps could handle this, maybe I needed to move forward. I came out to my psychiatrist that day.

Learning now that each little pill adds up, and day by day we move toward our real selves.
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Offline Georgette

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 12:41:02 pm »
Cimara

Here is a link for a pdf from back in OCT.

https://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/features/2016/0616_policy/DoD-Instruction-1300.28.pdf

It has some gotchas but seems to be interesting.
It does not cover all but is an initial Instruction.

I have one friend that identifies as Gender Fluid, so not just TG/TS.
It helps all that have been hiding being TG/TS, and don't have to worry about discharge.
Some men and women join the military because they want to serve for a variety of reasons.
I enlisted in 1969-74, for education.

Georgette

AMAB - NOV 13 1950
HRT - Start 1975 / End 1985
Moved in with SO ( Also a MtF ) - 1976 / She didn't believe in same sex marriage
Name Change - NOV 30 1976
FT - Formal letter from work - APR 12 1977
SRS - SEP 13 1977
SO died - OCT 03 2014  38 years not a bad run


Offline Wendywishes

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2017, 02:08:02 pm »
I am so glad to hear that the VA is providing such great care for everyone above!  Luckily, the VA has more flexibility to refer people out of the military network, and I hope those on active duty can also get referrals to experienced providers outside a military facility.

Cimara, the policy was officially changed last year, but it wasn't until the last couple of months that they pushed out the additional guidance and training.  I'll try to summarize how it works:

1. The Service Member (SM) gets diagnosed with "gender dysphoria" by a military provider.
2. The SM informs their Commander (the officer in charge of the SM) of the intent to transition.
3. The SM and medical providers come up with a treatment plan, which is then presented to the Commander for "approval".
4. The treatment plan is carried out.
5. Once the medical providers determine the SM is "stable in the preferred gender", the SM is administratively classified as "transition complete", and the official gender in their military records is changed.

That's the process in a nutshell.  A few important things are:

a. The distinction between being diagnosed as "transgender", which does not meet the standard to start the transition process, and being diagnosed with "gender dysphoria", which does meet this new standard. 
b. The SM needs to be either diagnosed by a military medical provider or have a civilian diagnoses confirmed, so just having an outside provider say someone has dysphoria doesn't mean it will meet the military criteria...and I'm not sure what exactly those criteria are.
c. The Commander has a very big role in this...they don't have a say in the treatment or plan, but they have final approval.  Since the SM is still a military member, the military mission comes before the individual SM.  That being said, I do not see very many (if any) issues with Commanders not approving treatment unless the SM is getting ready to deploy or some similar critical event.  Treatment for diagnosed dysphoria is considered "medically necessary", but does not necessarily require immediate treatment.
d. The SM is required to meet all standards in the current gender until the determination of "transition complete" and the Commander approves the official gender change in the military records.  This means if someone is transitioning from male to female, they are required to maintain male grooming standards (short hair, no ear piercings, etc.), male physical fitness standards (physical fitness tests and height/weight standards), male uniforms, male barracks, male restroom, male showers...everything male literally until the day of the change in the military records.  I can see this causing problems in some instances.  As far as RLE, it will need to be done only off-post and will require a special exception to policy signed by the Commander.
e. The determination of "transition complete" is an administrative term only.  It is not dependent on anything other than the SM being comfortable and "stable" as they are in the preferred gender...so gender confirmation surgery is not required.  However, many, many people who at least pretend to be OK with this are absolutely losing their sh*t about the idea of of a "guy" using a "girls" bathroom or shower, especially if they have not had the "surgery".  Unfortunately, there is no real surprise there.

All of this is for people already in the military.  For right now, gender dysphoria is a disqualifying condition to entering the military.  This policy is also being revised, but it looks like it will be fairly strict.  Essentially, they will require people trying to join to be able to prove they have been "stable" for 18 months...either being transgender without issues for 18 months, diagnosed dysphoric but without issues for 18 months, or post-transition and stable for 18 months.  I am sure they are trying to avoid having people join exclusively to have their surgery paid for and then get out, so there are going to be a lot of restrictions and hoops to jump through.

Hope this helps everyone understand the current situation! 
I'll do what I can to show her the way,
And maybe one day I will free her,
Though I know no one can see her...
- Cat Stevens

Offline Cimara

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2017, 02:47:02 pm »
Thank you for explaining. I am amazed the military has become so accepting of trans people. Perhaps you can answer another question. Someone told me they have "selective service" here in the USA . How does that work? Are you exempt if you are trans? And are you exempt if you were not born here?  I know they restarted required military service in my own country but I do not know if they do it here.
Born 1989
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Offline Wendywishes

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2017, 03:01:32 pm »
Thank you for explaining. I am amazed the military has become so accepting of trans people. Perhaps you can answer another question. Someone told me they have "selective service" here in the USA . How does that work? Are you exempt if you are trans? And are you exempt if you were not born here?  I know they restarted required military service in my own country but I do not know if they do it here.

I'm amazed, too, Cimara.  However, just because the policy has changed doesn't mean everyone in the military is so accepting... 

All "selective service" means is that all males who are US citizens have to be registered with government if they are between 18-25, in case there is ever another military draft (like during the Vietnam conflict).  I don't believe there are any exceptions to registering, so if you are a male US citizen between 18-25, even if not born here, you have to register. But, having a diagnosis of gender dysphoria would currently disqualify you from actually joining.   There is no conscription or mandatory military service here.

I'll do what I can to show her the way,
And maybe one day I will free her,
Though I know no one can see her...
- Cat Stevens

Offline AnneK

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2017, 03:03:17 pm »
Quote
And are you exempt if you were not born here?

I don't know about now, but during the Viet Nam war, some Canadians were drafted, as they were U.S. citizens, despite never having lived there.  Does the U.S. still have a draft?  I thought it ended years ago.

I'm a 67 year old AMAB who has been thinking about SRS for many years.  I also was a  full cross dresser for a few years.  I wear a bra, pantyhose and nail polish daily because it just feels right.

Started HRT April 17, 2019.

tgchar21

Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2017, 03:49:53 pm »
Does the U.S. still have a draft?  I thought it ended years ago.

No active draft, but the registration requirement for males 18-25 continues.

Offline Rakel

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2017, 09:20:42 pm »
Getting back on track, Chelsea Manning was given a dishonorable discharge from the Army which will disqualify her from medical care at any VA Hospital.

Also take a look at the wikipedia article on Chelsea.

https://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelsea_Manning

She appears to have been on some HRT before release from prison.




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Offline V M

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2017, 10:37:01 pm »
The Chelsea Manning case is unique in that she is viewed as a deserter for walking off from her posted duty

Granted, in the past if you were "found out" it was treated more like a marriage annulment given an ambiguous discharge, denial of all benefits and basically treated as if you never existed
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Offline Georgette

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2017, 02:26:46 am »
From what I understood, the policy to discharge TG didn't come in until the 80s.

I was unintentionally outed when in the Navy around 72-73.  After visiting the Psychiatrists and Security people, I only considered my self as a CD back then, found to be no security or other risk, and told to just go back to work.  They were only interested in any homosexual activity, plus we had Vietnam War still going on, and needed my type of work.

I was a Fire Control Tech, on a missile submarine.  Worked on the computers programming the launch of said missiles.  Also was the Launch Control Petty Officer at that time.  I had a Top Secret + security clearance.

They did offer about a year later a General Discharge, similar to Honorable, with full benefits.  I was at the end of my 5 years of a 6 year enlistment.

All in all it worked out for the best, as I then went to work as a computer contractor on US Dept of Defense projects until I retired in 2011.  Just had to keep the security people up on any changes, like name change and SRS surgery.  Maintained a Secret to Top Secret during my career.

Always wondered if any others had similar experiences.  Or any that did get discharged.
AMAB - NOV 13 1950
HRT - Start 1975 / End 1985
Moved in with SO ( Also a MtF ) - 1976 / She didn't believe in same sex marriage
Name Change - NOV 30 1976
FT - Formal letter from work - APR 12 1977
SRS - SEP 13 1977
SO died - OCT 03 2014  38 years not a bad run


Offline Dena

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2017, 09:28:10 am »
Joanna Clark is the one I am most familiar with. She has a different way of describing what the military did to her but because of the settlement she had with the military, I am sure she left out many of the juicy details in the retelling. Her temperament made her perfect for the military and I am sure she would have spent her life in the service of her country but the military didn't agree.
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Offline Deborah

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2017, 09:58:43 am »
I knew one person that was discharged.  But she did something really dumb.  She drove through a checkpoint dressed where they always stopped everyone to check military IDs.


Conform and be dull. —James Frank Dobie, The Voice of the Coyote

Offline Georgette

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Re: Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2017, 02:43:46 pm »
Dena

Thank You for that link about Joanna Clark.  Can't say I have heard of her tale before.  So hard to find information back in those days.

Seems like our coming out times in the Navy was around the same time, maybe one result influenced the other.  Might be a reason why they asked if I wanted to leave in 73-74.  I had not intended to stay past my 6 years, so jumped at the chance.

AMAB - NOV 13 1950
HRT - Start 1975 / End 1985
Moved in with SO ( Also a MtF ) - 1976 / She didn't believe in same sex marriage
Name Change - NOV 30 1976
FT - Formal letter from work - APR 12 1977
SRS - SEP 13 1977
SO died - OCT 03 2014  38 years not a bad run


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