U.S. Army Has Yet Another Out Trans Member

From The Advocate:

Jamie Lee Henry joins a handful of other out transgender soldiers proving they are fit to serve.

BY  Mitch Kellaway
June 11 2015

Slowly but surely, stories of transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military are emerging, each heralding a new step of progress in overturning the institutuion’s ban on open trans military service.

This week, Buzzfeed introduced the world to a trans woman serving openly while an active-duty Army officer, Jamie Lee Henry, who has the distinction of being the first known servicemember to change her name and gender within the U.S. armed forces.

A 32-year-old trans woman who serves as a doctor and major in the Army Medical Corps, Henry shared with the news site how she’s been able to remain serving, in part: with the clear support of her commanding officers. When she came out as trans three years ago and faced familial upheaval — which eventually included divorce and a brief stint of homelessness — Henry said her then-commander helped keep her career on track and even temporarily housed her.

When last fall she began to take steps to medically transition, Henry said her new commander backed her too. “My commander said, ‘I don’t care who you love, I don’t care how you identify, I want you to be healthy and I want you to be able to do your job,” she recalled to Buzzfeed. Henry said she expected to be considered a “freak” and to be discharged under Department of Defense Instruction 6130.03, a regulation which dictates that any type of gender-confirming clinical, medical, or surgical treatment is evidence of “disqualifying physical and mental conditions.” Though following the instruction is not required, its common usage has kept an estimated 15,5000 transgender troops serving in silence about their gender identities.

Last last year, the Army ruled that the decision of whether to separate trans troops under this regulation would be taken out of the hands of commanding officers and elevated to the assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs. Even so, chains of command appear to play a key role in the  stories of each of the handful of trans servicemembers that have been able to serve openly, as shown by the stories of Jacob Eleazar, who served in the Army as TAC (Teach, Assess, Council) officer, and illustrated by The Advocate‘s exclusive interview with Army Sgt. Shane Ortega last month.

Continue reading at:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/military/2015/06/11/us-army-has-yet-another-out-trans-officer

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Buffy Sainte-Marie

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Seinfeld slams politically correct students for hurting comedy: “They just want to use these words, ‘that’s racist, that’s sexist, that’s prejudice’”

From Salon: http://www.salon.com/2015/06/08/seinfeld_slams_politically_correct_students_for_hurting_comedy_they_just_want_to_use_these_words_that%E2%80%99s_racist_that%E2%80%99s_sexist_that%E2%80%99s_prejudice/

The comedian thinks that PC culture, particularly on college campuses, has gone too far

and
Monday, Jun 8, 2015

Speaking on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Thursday, Jerry Seinfeld weighed in on the issue of political correctness as it pertains to comedy. Asked by Cowherd if PC culture hurts comedy, Seinfeld responded definitively: “Yes, it does.”

He went on: “I don’t play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges, they’re so pc.’ I’ll give you an example: My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple of years, I think maybe you’re going to want to hang around the city more on the weekends so you can see boys.’ You know, my daughter says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words. ‘That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t even know what they’re talking about.”

This isn’t the first time Seinfeld has expressed his frustration with political correctness. Responding to criticisms about the lack of diversity on his show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” last year, Seinfeld said: “This really pisses me off. People think it’s the census or something, it’s gotta represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares?… I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that. To me, it’s anti-comedy. It’s more about PC nonsense, than are you making us laugh or not.”

Of course, Seinfeld isn’t alone. In recent years, many comedians have spoken out about how increased audience sensitivity — particularly on college campuses — is harmful to comedic freedom. Chris Rock, speaking to New York Magazine last year, echoed similar sentiments saying that he has stopped playing colleges because they are too conservative “in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. Kids raised on a culture of ‘We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.’ Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say ‘the black kid over there.’ No, it’s ‘the guy with the red shoes.’ You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.”

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April Ashley: Caitlyn Jenner chose a ‘terrible’ name

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We are the Transgender Borg

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Ornette Coleman (March 9, 1930 – June 11, 2015)

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Becoming a woman, not a girl

I am an old woman. I wear Birkenstocks and blue jeans. I wear a lot of purple and my hair is hippie long. In the hot Texas summer I sometimes chop it short. I laugh a lot and use the word fuck in many different ways. I love rock and roll along with the blues and outlaw country. I don’t wear make-up or high heels. I can mow my own lawn, hook up a complex audio video system and build my own PC.

I cowgirl up in spite of aching joints and wish the hell they would make pot legal and cheap.

To me gender has always been a way of putting limits on women and girls (See Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex”) The other night in her acceptance speech upon induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Joan Jett recalled a time when gender meant girls/women didn’t play electric guitars in rock and roll bands.

I’ve been reading Ellen Goodman for more years than I can remember

From North Jersey.com:  http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-guest-writers/becoming-a-woman-not-a-girl-1.1353919

While she was winning gold medals, many in her generation were raised on the idea that “when I am an old woman I shall wear purple.”
For many, 65 is not the new 30 but the new freedom from the extreme sport of femininity.

By Ellen Goodman
June 11, 2015

HAVE YOU noticed that the first 65-year-old cover girl on Vanity Fair was actually born a boy? Is that transsexual progress or just trans-sexism?

Yes, I am happy that Caitlyn Jenner has finally come out as a female, thereby risking her net worth. As one cartoonist suggested, she is now likely to be paid exactly 77 cents on the dollar.

More to the point, as Jon Stewart noted, the silicon-cleavaged and made-over Olympian is now the sweetheart of the Twittersphere and cable chatteratti, where people are talking about nothing but her glam girl status.

In Stewart’s words: “It’s really heartening to see that everyone is willing to not only accept Caitlyn Jenner as a woman but to waste no time in treating her like a woman. You see, Caitlyn, when you were a man, we could talk about your athleticism, your business acumen. But now you’re a woman and your looks are really the only thing we care about.” Bingo.

In that vein, let’s remember the remarks of the woman who chose the clothes for the photo shoot. The Vanity Fair dresser said: “The one thing that makes it easier to dress someone is proportion. Caitlyn’s proportions are fashion proportions, really.” She’s tall, slim, narrow-hipped, kind of ideal to dress.

Yes! A fashion designer’s dream come true!

But as an (even) older woman, may I add a little something to the sexism? A little ageism perhaps? May I ask why Caitlyn couldn’t come out as a 65-year-old woman rather than a 25-year-old starlet?

A factoid: Americans are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day. If the female half of that demographic is looking for a role model, it’s not a Medicare Babe but a woman facing down the truly Olympic challenge of aging gracefully.

The fashion industry basically stops at Forever 21. The shoe designers loved and left us like heels.

Mirren, Streep, Bergen

If we need to go Hollywood to cast an iconic older woman, couldn’t we have Helen Mirren at 69 or Meryl Streep at 65? Or better yet, Candice Bergen at 69, who admits to being 30 pounds over her Murphy Brown weight? “I live to eat,” she announces. “No carb is safe — no fat, either.” Being overweight is probably more of a challenge in this culture than bending gender. You go, girl.

Instead, Caitlyn looks more like Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard,” playing an over-the-hill actress when she was only 50!

The editors of Vanity Fair were not the only ones who transformed the former Bruce into their fantasy Caitlyn. Where, oh, where was photographer Annie Leibowitz in all this? What was she thinking? At 65 herself, the long-term companion of the late uber-intellectual Susan Sontag, Leibowitz surely has more to say and show about aging than her ingénue subject.

Well, here’s the thing. I am sorry that Caitlyn missed out on being a 20- or 30-year-old woman. But I wish she could catch up.

Complete article at:  http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-guest-writers/becoming-a-woman-not-a-girl-1.1353919

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