For the record I am a long time anti-war activist who believes almost all wars are rich men’s wars and poor peoples fights.
This does not mean I hate the people who serve either as draftees in the era of conscription not today when poverty often serves as an enticement to enlist.
Direct action takes guts. Just as it takes guts to enlist knowing you are LGBT/T. Particularly considering how many of the ultra-conservative war hawks are actully chicken hawks who found any and every imaginable excuse not to serve, particularly during the Vietnam war. While the left was derided as deserters, cowards and draft dodgers almost zero of the modern conservatives in the Congress or media ever served. They all had excuses.
Perhaps Autumn Sandeen enlisted thinking that doing so might make a man out of her and cure her of transsexualism or transgenderism. Of course TS or TG doesn’t work that way and isn’t cured that way.
But serve she did. So did Monica Helms and a whole slew of other people. It doesn’t matter if they served on the front lines or in an office. They served. This means they put up with all the heterosexist/transphobic bullshit that is endemic to the military.
It has become a popular sport among a certain set of TS/TG people to mock both Autumn and Monica as well as others who served. One pathetic troll who lives in San Francisco is given to regularly disrespecting Autumn by using male pronouns and mocking the courage it took for Autumn to engage in an act of civil disobedience by handcuffing herself to the White House fence right along side of Dan Choi and others.
It takes a particular level of courage for any person with transsexualism pre or post-op, or any person with transgenderism to commit civil disobedience and allow oneself to be subjected to arrest. As any TS/TG person who has ever had any sort of run in with the law knows the police routinely subject TS/TG folks to seriously gross abuse and personal humiliation.
I applaud Autumn’s activism. I no more look upon her traveling around the country speaking out and engaging in direct action as “a publicity stunt” than I do say the women of Code pink or Cindy Sheehan. She is speaking from her heart and putting her body upon the line.
She is not a cowardly troll like some people. She does not hide behind aliases like others.
She stand up, speaks out and is genuinely courageous and is every bit as deserving of respect as Dan Choi and the non-trans L/G people who are speaking out in opposition to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.