So, finally they have lifted the ban on this. It won’t stop the aggression or the shunning by the individual groups of people. For instance, in my AFSC there weren’t any women in this position on the base, that they knew of. We had one woman who had come in fresh from basic to this job and was only there for a month before she was encouraged to apply for a different career field. I had tried to befriend her and to help her along, but she was very on edge and thought I was trying to get in her pants. I couldn’t tell her that I already had a stylish pair of womens pants in my closet, that I was wearing a bra and panties under my BDUs. You can’t trust anyone in the military, they are for the unit, not for the individual. So I was left there, one girl having to play male to try to fit in. I never did quite fit in there.
I was worried about being found out. I took some crazy risks, like wearing a bra under my BDUs. It’s one thing to wear panties, we don’t take our bottoms off at work. But the uniform is a brown cotton t-shirt under the BDU shirt, often times at our job it is necessary to remove the BDU shirt and work in the t-shirt. Even with the summer BDU shirt (made of very thin material) a bra can be noticeable, but if I took it off and was just in a t-shirt, completely noticeable like a giant neon sign. So, crazy risky to do it, but to me very necessary to distance myself from what my body was.
I don’t think there are going to be positive reactions to this news from the military’s general populace. They like thier men, manly, and women subservient, it’s like the 1950’s. Perhaps it’s different now, but even with “don’t ask don’t tell“ , it was a terrible time for homosexuals, I don’t see this being any better. You are allowed to be who you are, but if you wear what you should wear you will be ridiculed and shunned. In a normal civilian life, you can avoid places and people, you can move to more tolerant areas, find jobs from employers who are accepting. You have no choices in the military, they decide and you act. You get stuck in a unit with male chauvinist bigots, guess what you are the new pinata until you can find a way out of that hell.
Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that passed this, I am glad that some people will be able to be themselves and serve our country with honor and distinction. I hope that they become heroes and show the world that being a different gender from our bodies doesn’t make us less likely to be good decent people, to be looked up to and regarded seriously. It’s that I have little hope that the military has taken a stand early on to promote the correct culture to introduce this. They are throwing hopeful vulnerable people into a pit of wolves and they are somehow thinking that this will turn out alright because they put down strict rules? Without serious culture change, this is going to be very dangerous. Perhaps they are doing the right thing and I am being an alarmist, I really hope that is the case.
I can tell you that the argument that having us in the military is a detriment is false. We have been here, just like homosexuals have, in the military since militaries were in existence. They didn’t notice and we still did our jobs just fine. The moment they notice us, they think we can’t live up to their ideal when we set that bar with them long ago.