Yesterday, the Senate voted to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This long-awaited decision signals a victory to many LGBT people, ending a discriminatory practice that has silenced soldiers, ended careers, and perpetuated homophobia. Of course, as some LGBT activists both celebrate the end of DADT, it’s important to remember that the repeal is not a victory for all queer people. Really, I’m skeptical as to how much of a ‘victory’ it is for queers in general– while I understand the desire to eliminate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, I’m critical of the desire to join the military. Don’t disenfranchised queer youth already face enough violence?
Regardless of your feelings about the military, the repeal of DADT is not a success for all LGBT people. Quite simply, trans- people still cannot enlist/serve because we are still pathologized with a psychiatric diagnosis, “Gender Identity Disorder.” Let that be a reminder to all who trumpet the repeal as a LGBT/queer victory; I, for one, am grateful that trans folks are still protected from any future drafts…however unlikely those might be.