US Navy transgender sailor discharged for transitioning at work

A US navy communications specialist has spoken out to The Washington Post about being discharged for transitioning to being male – showing that part of the LGBTI community is still legally barred from serving in the US Armed Forces

US Navy transgender sailor discharged for transitioning at work
28 April 2014

Transgender sailor Landon Wilsonhas spoken out about being forcefully discharged by the US Navy after superiors discovered he had transitioned to be a male – showing that some LGBTI people still face legal discrimination in the US Armed Forces past the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

The US Defense Department still retains a policy that was set when being transgender was viewed as a form of mental illness and classes it as a ‘paraphilia.’

As a result those who transition at work are still banned from serving and are discharged for what the Department deems health reasons.

Wilson told The Washington Post about how he had been pulled out of monitoring a Special Operations mission by a superior just after 2am on 7 December last year.

He was then grilled by a segeant major who had discovered that he had enlisted as a woman but deployed to Afghanistan as a man.

‘This Navy record says female, but this paper says male,’ Wilson says the sergeant major said to him, before asking, ‘So, what are you?’

Knowing the potential price, but not wanting to lie to a superior officer, Wilson said he replied, ‘I am male.’

As a result he was sacked by the Navy.

The Obama Administration repealed the so-called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban on openly gay and lesbian personnel serving in the US Armed Forces in 2011 but that did not change Department of Defense policy covering other LGBTI people.

The Palm Center, a public policy group focusing on gender, sexuality and the military, released a report in March arguing that the US military could make a smooth transition to allowing openly transgender personnel to serve – finding there was no medical basis in the current policy.

‘Medical regulations requiring the discharge of transgender personnel are inconsistent with how the military regulates all other medical and psychological conditions and transgender-related conditions appear to be the only gender-related conditions that require discharge irrespective of fitness for duty,’ the report found, concluding, ‘there is no compelling medical reason for the ban [on transgender personnel].

The report was the work of a study co-chaired by former US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders (pictured) – who was in that role during the Clinton Administration when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was put in place.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Two UK teens sentenced for anti-gay assault

'I am pleased both boys accepted responsibility for their actions'.
No thumbnail available

Aussie actor Harry Cook talks about coming out and upcoming movie Drown

Australian actor Harry Cook spoke to GSN about how Tom Daley inspired him to come out on YouTube and about his upcoming movie Drown – in which he plays the only straight main character
No thumbnail available

Utah book publisher pulls novel because author is gay

Author who insisted on being open about his sexuality on his book biography has his upcoming book release canceled
No thumbnail available

Mitt Romney continues to be opposed to marriage equality

'I think marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. And I think the ideal setting for raising a child is in the setting where there's a father and a mother'
No thumbnail available

Jai Rodriguez finally leaving Queer Eye behind for Malibu Country

GSN Interview:  'It's been a struggle to re-educate everyone that I was an actor before Queer Eye'
No thumbnail available

New Australian Liberal Democratic Party senator promises marriage equality bill

Freshly minted Australian micro-party senator David Leyonhjelm says he will put forward a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry after mentioning marriage equality in his inaugural speech
No thumbnail available

Lawmaker tweets school is a ‘failure’ for gay-straight t-shirt students

T-shirt to bring ‘harmony’ between straight and LGBT students is attacked by Missouri Republican in Twitter message
No thumbnail available

Rosie O'Donnell not angry with Oprah over her show being canceled

'Oprah has treated me with nothing but dignity and respect from day one'
No thumbnail available

In opening campaign rally, Hillary Clinton stands for LGBT equality

'We should ban discrimination against LGBT Americans and their families so they can live, learn, marry, and work like everybody else'
No thumbnail available

Thrill rides at Siam Park in Tenerife

Europe's largest water park gets our adrenaline pumping in Costa Adeje, Tenerife.