Transgender People in the Military: Don't Ask? Don't Tell? Don't Enlist!
ABSTRACT The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell offered legal equality to sexual minorities in the military. However, this big step forward had no impact on the policy of exclusion and rejection and the fear and secrecy that resulted for transgender people (whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, or heterosexual). In this article, we argue that transgender citizens should have equal opportunity to honorably serve their country, and to be treated with respect and sensitivity as they do so. Many transgender persons may be drawn to military service and its ethos of masculine values. However, they are currently not permitted entry, and, if they are to enter, must remain hidden or face dismissal, leaving them vulnerable to harassment. While they report both positive and negative experiences during their service, research documents discrimination in veterans' healthcare as well as mental health risks resulting from fear and harassment. In contrast to the United States, 11 countries include transgender people in their militaries. Drawing in part from their examples, we end with recommendations for change in the direction of respect and equality of opportunity.
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ABSTRACT: We offer a theoretical framework to advance our understanding of the psychology of transgender service members—the most understudied and mysterious class of US military personnel. Using grounded theory methods with interview data collected from clandestinely-serving active-duty, guard and reserve military members from the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps who self-identified as transgender or transsexual, we reveal a latent structure of Self Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Deci & Ryan, 2000; Ryan & Deci, 2000). The variance in our data heavily centers around the concepts of autonomy, competence and relatedness, illustrating how post-DADT military personnel policy, which excludes open transgender service, impacts the mental well-being of transgender service members.
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ABSTRACT: Dialogue about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people remains undervalued in Human Resource Development (HRD). Most of HRD’s LGBT-related research has focused on sexual orientation, giving little attention to what differentiates transgender people—gender identity and/or expression that differs from assigned sex at birth. Transgender issues are particularly important to HRD practice, as practitioners increasingly aim to create diverse and inclusive organizations, but there is a lack of understanding about what it means or is like to be transgender. The purpose of this article was to situate transgender experiences as relevant and important issues for HRD, providing critical actions HRD scholars and practitioners might take to shape a more inclusive reality for transgender people in the workplace.Human Resource Development Review 06/2015; 14(2). DOI:10.1177/1534484315581755
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ABSTRACT: We present a case study that investigated the effects of an open gender transition within a US military organization. The research subject, a retired military officer and civil servant, made a gender transition while remaining in the same job with the same chain of command and within the same organization. Using interview data, we analyze the effect of how an open gender transition impacted an active-duty military unit.Armed Forces & Society 03/2015; 41(2):221-242. · 0.81 Impact Factor