Amid much talk of Chelsea Manning's transitional status
, this interesting factoid shared by Boing Boing pal Andrea James: a Williams Institute study
says trans people serve in the US military at rates double that of the general population. Despite the math, "they nonetheless face discrimination during and after service."
The Williams Institute, at UCLA's School of Law, focuses on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.
The full report is here (PDF). It explains the scientific methodology, and offers this conclusion:
Many transgender people desire to serve their
country in the armed forces, yet are not allowed
entry or allowed to remain in the service if they
wish to live their lives true to their gender identities.
Transgender service members and veterans have
reported wide-ranging experiences of discrimination,
harassment, and physical and sexual assault while
serving in the military. Outside of the military,
transgender veterans in the NTDS experienced
higher rates of homelessness, incarceration, and
family rejection than those who did not serve.
Transgender veterans described unique challenges
and barriers to obtaining necessary health care and
accurate identification documents. The repeal of
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” does not provide a public
policy solution for these problems transgender
service members and veterans experience. Though
the VHA has begun to address transgender veterans’
health care concerns, it will be necessary to make
additional changes to military policies in order to
allow transgender people to serve openly and with
As Maggie blogged yesterday, the Kinsey Institute just got funding to do research on the lives of trans people in the military. It's good to see more attention paid.
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