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Author Topic: She served her country - as a man...  (Read 1129 times)

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Offline KetTopic starter

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She served her country - as a man...
« on: May 24, 2010, 06:41:49 PM »
I read this in my local newspaper this morning.  What surprised me was that the national VFW is pretty much neutral, stating that as long as someone was an honorable veteran, the only thing keeping them from attending meetings was not paying their dues.

+1 for the national organization.

It's just the particular local chapter that has a problem. And while they state that in their by-laws they may disallow attendance if it causes a disturbance, they don't really cite exactly what that disturbance was, except that she came dressed as a woman. 

-1 to the local chapter for not being able to accept one of their own in whichever way she chooses to live.

http://hamptonroads.com/2010/05/hes-now-she-and-wants-serve-vfw-woman

Offline Torch

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Re: She served her country - as a man...
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2010, 11:03:06 PM »
I read this news report this morning, and was not surprised at all.

As the daughter of a VFW member, having attended VFW events since I was a child, I know first hand the membership skews to older veterans, mostly male, mostly in their 60's and up. I'm not excusing their reactions, but it's completely understandable given their stations in life.

Perhaps with an influx of younger veterans from the Gulf Wars, the attitudes and tolerances will change.

Offline Brandon

Re: She served her country - as a man...
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2010, 11:12:05 PM »
I think its somewhat disgusting. On one hand I can understand some reaction. I mean if you fought somewhere and had someone fight alongside you, perhaps even save your life during battle, and then 40 years later found that he had become a she of course youre going to wonder about things.

That said, the disgusting part in my mind, is that she fought along side those men and likely saved some of their lives at one point or another. Even if he's turned into a woman I think its a slap in the face to her service. Being a veteran isnt about who you are now, its about what you did in the past. People can change, but the past doesnt

Offline Torch

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Re: She served her country - as a man...
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2010, 11:28:39 PM »
I think its somewhat disgusting. On one hand I can understand some reaction. I mean if you fought somewhere and had someone fight alongside you, perhaps even save your life during battle, and then 40 years later found that he had become a she of course youre going to wonder about things.


Well, I would be willing to bet that most of those members have no earthly idea what the word "transgendered" even means. More than likely, they equate it to cross-dressing, which is, of course, not the same thing at all.

Prejudice and ignorance usually go hand-in-hand.


Offline Brandon

Re: She served her country - as a man...
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 11:53:23 PM »
Well, I would be willing to bet that most of those members have no earthly idea what the word "transgendered" even means. More than likely, they equate it to cross-dressing, which is, of course, not the same thing at all.

Prejudice and ignorance usually go hand-in-hand.

IMO thats still a slap in the face to her service and sacrifices. As I said, I can understand some discussion or wondering but at the end of the day events like these arent about who you are now. Theyre about what you did then

Offline Torch

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Re: She served her country - as a man...
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 12:03:00 AM »
IMO thats still a slap in the face to her service and sacrifices. As I said, I can understand some discussion or wondering but at the end of the day events like these arent about who you are now. Theyre about what you did then

I'm not disagreeing, but we are talking about a specific demographic here. Conservative, red-state men in their 60's, 70's and 80's, a group not exactly known for tolerance, understanding and open-mindedness.

I'm not exactly sure what sort of reaction you would expect them to have.


Offline Brandon

Re: She served her country - as a man...
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 12:23:19 AM »
I would expect them to treat her just like any other soldier that served with them.

Offline CountessJess

Re: She served her country - as a man...
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 04:48:59 AM »
Here's my two cents worth.

I have nothing against transsexuals whatsoever, and I have no problem against Laura Bush's decision to change her gender.  But what she did was overtly provocative, considering the audience, and I hardly think she could have gone in wearing those clothes without causing a stir.

Agreed, generally these veterans from the 60s and 70s are conservative men who disagree on things like transsexuals and homosexuality. They are less open-minded and accept new things less willingly. But this is part of their upbringing and something they have been comfortable with all their life. Remember, they themselves have sacrificed much for their country too, and their opinions deserve our respect, though not always our agreement. As Voltaire said, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." So we shouldn't condemn them as irretrievably bigoted for their views yet.

That being said, their views are by no means something we should accept, as they infringe on other people's rights. But acting as Laura Bush did would only isolate herself and make conservatives less willing to listen to what she had to say. By going up there and doing what most frown upon, she only guarantees her disapproval. If she truly was to be able to carry out her aim to spread awareness about transgenders, she would not get far by appearing as what seems to be the manifestation of their fears: as a crossdressing queer. The terms seem strong, but put yourselves in the other veteran's shoes. They've been under the impression for all their lives that transsexuals are gay people (another misconception) who are trying to justify themselves by crossdressing. And here comes along a transgender person who seems to be doing the exact same thing.  Are they going to change their views in an instant? I think nyet.

Also, what Laura Bush did was, in my humble opinion, disrespectful. While I respect a person's right to dress however they want (except for things like indecent exposure), in certain events a degree of respect must be kept. At the point when Laura was speaking, she was still, by all intents and purposes, a man. And from what I understand from the article, the event was quite a serious one. Just as (I hope) at a funeral he/she wouldn't come dressed in this manner, I think that at this event she should have come dressed with a certain level of decorum. The VFW is a place for all veterans to commemorate their periods of service for their country, and to bring overtly controversial (by the people present) issues into the mix detracts from its main, nobler task.

You might think that I am being too soft on pushing for greater equality. Perhaps I am less strong in my efforts. But I come from a conservative society, where homosexuality is still frowned upon despite the nation's first-world status. By law, it is still illegal for two men to engage in anal sex. I have found when talking to ultraconservatives and conservatives, speaking from the moral high ground never, ever gets them to change their views. Rather, when I bring myself to see their point of view and try to reason with them why they are perhaps dated and unfair, they are more likely to reconsider their views. That is why I respect Laura's views, I frown down on how she expresses it, because they have been counterproductive.

I sincerely hope I haven't bored you all out.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: She served her country - as a man...
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2010, 05:25:00 PM »
I believe I see your point, CountessJess.  It has also been my experience that expecting immediate change only causes further entrenchment.  On the other hand, if no one pushes for change, it will never come.  I do not have an answer.

I am grateful for Laura's service.  Her sex, orientation and self image do not lessen my gratitude.

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Re: She served her country - as a man...
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2010, 05:57:16 AM »
I do feel the need too point out here that for transgendered people presenting your psychological gender too the world is a crucial part of the process, or at least that is how my transgendered friends have been instructed by their therapists.