Transitioning From Female To Male While On Active Duty Overseas

Earlier this month the website AirForceTimes had an article about an out lesbian in the Army who is deployed overseas in Afghanistan and taking injections of testosterone several times a month which she began prior to her overseas assignment.

While she is an out lesbian in the military she of course needs to not come out as a transitioning F to M as under the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell there are no provisions for protecting transgenders and transsexuals.

She in an interview with the website says her change is well underway with her voice getting deeper, gaining more muscle, in effect becoming more “manly” as the injection therapy which began before her deployment, is taking effect.

There are it would seem several potential problems with this soldier doing this while actively serving, whether stateside or in the hotbed of Afghanistan.

According to the article service members are required to notify commands of any significant change in medical condition, this I would say is definitely one. The burden of potentially having to reveal and give explanation to others what is going on with body change and what is causing it, this in and of itself must cause some mental anguish for the solider, which may or may not affect her overall duties and the mindset required to perform those duties.

According to the article, Defense Department regulations list gender identity disorder as one of a number of medical conditions that, while not considered disabilities, may “interfere with assignment to or performance of duty” and are grounds for administrative discharge.

While this writer is not finding fault with this individual’s desire to transition from one identity of sexual gender to another, I do have to question and challenge the mental state of her doing so not only while on active duty but also in the theater of operation she finds herself.

Were trans people protected while serving in the military there would be no question nor challenge on my part.

But and to put into the simplest of terms, this soldier is asking for trouble if she if found out.

One has to wonder how she hides her stash of injectable meds and how she takes the injections on the sly, or explaining the what and why of what she is doing.

Of course, and she only knows for sure, this action on her part could be a push of the envelope in the fight to include trans service members under the repeal of DADT, however her action, and the transitioning itself could well support exactly why active trans service members shouldn’t fall under that protection.

After all, in this writer’s opinion, what active military member of sound mind would risk career, one which she says she loves, and undergo such a potential challenge to the current military standards and regulations, whether right or wrong depending on POV. Of course the same could have been said of those who outed themselves prior to the repeal of DADT, in effect making a challenge against DADT and putting at risk their military career.

While this may or may not be an isolated case, I believe the repeal of DADT affected the correct parties of sexual identity while leaving out the fringe who wish to transition after signing up.

To join the military after transitioning full and completely as a transsexual I would fully support, but not anything less than a full and complete transition.

To support those such as this soldier who choose to transition after joining, and yes that is a choice on their part, that I can not support in any fashion.

Meanwhile since I wrote this posting news has come that the group GetEqual-SLDN has named a transgender as the LGBT advocacy group’s new head.

Good choice or will it make the group the laughing stock of LGBT advocacy ?

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About Lyndon Evans
Associated Press Award Winner

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