01 June 2013

Autumn Sandeen's Season

If you know anything about transgender activism, you probably have heard of Autumn Sandeen.  In 2001, she retired after a two-decade career with the Navy.  Of course, the military has never classified her as "she" or idenitified her by her true name--until this week.  

For the first time in the history of the US Armed Forces, the gender change of one of its servicemembers was recognized.  After a battle that lasted nearly two years, the Navy finally changed Ms. Sandeen's records to reflect her true gender.  

Of course, she still could not serve in the Navy, or any other branch of the military, today.  Lifting the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy did not affect trans people, and we are still excluded from serving.

Some believe that this, and the fact that the DSM will no longer classify transgenderism as a mental illness, as signs that trans people may be allowed to serve openly, and not have to resort to hiding their identity, as Ms. Sandeed did for more than two decades.

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