Alex Blaze

Students Protest ROTC's Transgender Exclusion

Filed By Alex Blaze | February 02, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: military, protest, rotc, stanford, students, transgender

Stanford student groups are petitioning the school not to let ROTC back on campus:ROTC_Xmas_47.jpg

"Now, more than ever, is the time for college students across the country to take a stand and organize against transgender discrimination, an issue that has been historically ignored by the mainstream gay rights agenda" said Alok Vaid-Menon, President of Stanford Students for Queer Liberation. "A re-introduction of ROTC on college campuses (including Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia) that include 'gender identity' in their non-discrimination clause is a fundamental violation of policy and an endorsement of discrimination."

Of course it is, or at least it is as much as allowing an anti-gay ROTC on campus violated sexual orientation inclusive non-discrimination clauses.

I'm glad the students are making this point - a lot of schools have apparently either forgotten that their nondiscrimination clauses include gender identity or they just don't care as they get ready to welcome ROTC back on campus.

Joe Mirabella made some good points about ROTC going back to campus last week. I don't understood why schools think they have to welcome the para-military group right away before it was even proven that they wouldn't discriminate any more against LGB people (and we still don't know what the ultimate policy will look like).

The eagerness we're seeing is rather unbecoming and speaks to the current American inability to say no to the military lest one be branded a traitor. The least that can be asked is that it respect the local rules when it enters someone else's environment, but, as we've seen in most places where the military's been sent, that's just asking too much.

Good for these students at Stanford, and, if I may just throw out some useless, un-provable, and vague generational analysis that the folks who always talk about "the future of the gay community" generally don't like to hear, young gay people are becoming more accepting of trans people being a part of the LGBT. It must be all that Leslie Feinberg and Ugly Betty we grew up with.

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I think the point is not to reform ROTC but to fight to disband it.

ROTC helps shape a layer of officers and lifers for the US military who are arguably one of the most dangerous, criminal and reactionary military elites on the planet. They think nothing of wasting the lives of civilians and GIs alike to make the world safe for US profiteers.

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."
USMC Commandant Major General S. D. Butler

The Transgender American Veterans Association put out a Position Statement on President Obama's Stat of the Union Speech, which focused on this part of his speech. You can read it in its entirety at:
We support the efforts at Stanford, Harvard and Columbia. The President of Harvard sent me an E-mail saying that they are speaking to Harvard's Transgender Task Force.

I'm very glad that those students are making this point.

ROTC is not a para military gorup but a military one and its more about being anti miltary than supporting Trans rights.

These people would still want to ban ROTC even if TG folks were allowed to join the military yesterday.We are just there excuse for the momment before it was no Gays no ROTC now no Trans no ROTC.

Correct. We are being used, and after we've served our purpose, will be discarded. Where were these protesters when we were drumming up support for an inclusive ENDA? Where will they be once they've achieved their aims?

And the result? A US Military whose officer corps is composed entirely from graduates of "Liberty University" and the like. Whose obedience to God's Holy Law supersedes their oath to protect the United States Constitution.

The dangers of this should be pretty farnarckling self-evident.

I made a comment last week that might have seem supportive of ROTC being back on campus. I realize I have a bias having gone through ROTC and benefited from it.

I want to say something that was omitted having close TG friends who I felt I might have betrayed here and that is: allowing an organization to continue violating policies like this should never be tolerated. I didn't mean to throw a red herring about MEPS stations either but I think we should add focus to them as well. I think we have the opportunity to take a stand here and ROTC happens to be it. I don't support war or even capital punishment but I do believe in a right to defend so if ROTC can get their act together, so be it but until then, I'm standing by the protest to not allow them back on campus.

Furthermore, the entire homophobic culture that has infiltrated our supposedly freedom-serving armed services needs to be taken to the brig.

Angela Brightfeather | February 3, 2011 3:13 PM

The fact is that nondiscrimination policies that include gender language are being violated and the only way to make sure that does not happen is by objecting to the flagrant acts that cause the discrimination. The ROTC program on campuses needs to be proactive and insist that the Pentagon and the President immediately start on a path to full inclusiveness as the President suggests, but does not live up, to when he says "all Amercian's".

The very fact that there is a Transgender American Veteran's Association insists that ROTC, as our future military leaders, act like leaders and ask for full inclusion within the ranks instead of ducking the bullet and acting like cowards by skipping the details and what it really takes to be a leader.

The fact that the active GLBT media has not insisted on full inclusion, SLDN and other organizations are not pushing for it and the subject of full inclusion is not even broached by any sector of our community, is proof that the higher ranks of the GLBT just don't care about Transgender people enough and are willing to ignore that fact and feed the idea that to be Transgender person is to be less than "all American" and that it is acceptable to them. How strange a view is that coming from a group of people who have so recently been classified as "less than".... and still are so, when it comes to SSM and a host of othr issues?