Joe Mirabella

What Does the Trans Community Want the President to Know?

Filed By Joe Mirabella | February 13, 2011 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: transgender protections

Last week I asked the trans community how gays and lesbians could be more helpful. barack-hussein-obama.jpgI did so with a pure heart because when I say I'm part of the LGBT community I sincerely mean it. I believe that despite the vast diversity that makes up our community we are all part of the same family. As such, I want everyone in my family to be treated equally and justly in life, so I'm prepared to work my entire life towards that goal.

The survey Injustice at Every Turn was clear that, under the definition used in the study for "transgender," there is a serious problem in this country. While the conversation in the comments section on my post clearly identified an issue with the label used in the study, "transgender," I did not see many people claiming that the basic conclusions of the study were false.

In fact, I received several e-mails in response to my post from people who identified as transgender and transsexual who confirmed that it is difficult to find and keep employment, housing, and health care. One writer told me about her suicide attempt several weeks ago after losing her job. I will not release their names here, for what I hope are obvious reasons.

Their stories and the comments on my post inspired another question that I wanted to propose to the community.

We know that several people in the White House read the Bilerico Project every day. Every single post has the possibility of containing a message that is presented to the President.

One thing that was clear by several comments in the previous post, you do not want someone else speaking for you, you want to speak for yourself. I respect and honor that.

So with that in mind, I would like to invite you to use this opportunity to speak directly to the President. What can President Obama do to make life better for the trans communities? If he were to give a speech tomorrow about the path forward to your equality, what would you want to hear him say? How has discrimination personally effected your life? Have you ever been fired from a job for being trans?

Feel free to use these questions as inspiration, but if you need to go in a different direction, please do.

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Suppose the focus were shifted away from terms loaded with implications like "gender nonconformity" and "gender variance" and put onto the question of gender expectations? Isn't the problem with the false notion that there is such a thing as a "gender norm"? I don't think the problem of gender nonconformity is limited to people who refer to themselves as transgender. I think there are many gay people for whom it is an issue and even sometimes a controversial one among lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people but beyond that I think it is a concern for people who consider themselves none of the above. If the broadest coalition is desired among those who do not wish to be discriminated against because of an unwillingness and, most importantly, an inability to live up to expectations of gender norms that go simply unquestioned, I think the potential for having the broadest base of support has gone unrecognized so far.

Mr. President,
Please direct the DoD and DOT that all branches of the military, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard to review their policies on the treatment of Transgendered and Intersex service members. Currently there is NO law directing the discharge of these service members. The ‘policies’ that are in place are based on 1950’s era prejudices and have undergone no recent peer review.

Because of these policies, people who have undergone extensive training and have much needed experience are released, sometimes precipitously. This often leaves commands shorthanded of needed qualified personnel.
The individual affected is cheated of the medical benefits that were proffered during the recruitment process. Their discharge process can be in as little as a half hour, or dragged on with constantly changing dates of discharge. They do not receive adequate care in accourdance with WPATH Standards Of Care and only rarely are they directed towards compedent medical care post service.

I’ve helped Transgender and Intersex service members over the past few years and the ‘standard narrative’ that I’ve heard over the years is very sad. Its indicitive of a military that cares more for ‘the regulation’ than its own people. Sometimes a service member is kept on until their EOS, but that’s rare and in those instances the person often has to endure treatment that no one should.

And its sad.
This country was founded on the idea of Freedom.
Yet military personel really don’t have any. The very medical resources that the service member were promised during recruitment is withheld with the explaination that they’re being discharged shortly. Once they come out or its discovered they can’t plan anything because no two branches, no two commands treat the discharge process the same. One person is handed a bus ticket home in a half hour, the next has their discharge held up for months and even put on a deployment list. No one can ‘plan’ their transition out of the military under this lack of fair treatment.

I count among my many Transgender military friends some who are in our allied nations militarys. The United Kingdom, Canada, Austrialia, New Zealand all retain service members who are Transgender. Of all of my active duty military friends who are Transgender, over half are now from these allied nations.

I still think its rather stange, that our nation is billed as a world leader and is the oppitmy of Freedom.
I look around and see our allied nations allow active duty service members true Freedom.
Freedom to serve.
Freedom to be different.
Freedom to be an individual.

Then I look at us,
…and I don’t feel so free.

The DoD and DoT have regulations baring Transgender and Intersex citizens from serving.
That’s all, just regulations.
YOU as President can direct to be changed.
Congress can direct the regulations to be changed.
The service heads can direct the regulations to be changed.
The service medical heads can change the regulations as well.

Thank you, Gina, for these wonderful words.

Mr. President,
You need to read the survey, Injustice at Every Turn, from cover to cover at least 6 times.

Actually, as someone who hosts my own Internet radio show which covers these issues, I've given this issue a lot of thought. If I could interview the President on transgender rights, my question list would include this:

Mr. President, as a candidate during the 2008 election season you were quite vocal and specific about the need for workplace protections from LGBT Americans and promised you would place the weight of your administration behind "...a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the
basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.".

However, since you've taken office we haven't heard you specifically speak of ENDA again publicly, saying only that you'd like to protect LGBT workers from discrimination in the future.

Many in our community frankly feel betrayed by you and by the Democratic Party leadership in general, believing that you could have done far more than you did to ensure the passage of ENDA during the 111th Congress, and that you did not use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to advocate for ENDA's passage as you promised you would.

Many believe that there was a conscious political choice made by the Democratic Party leadership to throw civilian LGBT working families under the bus once again in favor what was most politically convenient and would garner the most attention from liberal mainstream media outlets for the Democratic Party members.

It's also charged by many LGBT Americans that what we saw in the 111th was the Democrats once again running away from a fight with Republicans over transgender inclusion in the bill, and refusing to expend the time or political capital necessary to keep their promises to our community.

How do you respond to these charges, and what kind of support can civilian LGBT working families expect from you and from Democratic Party as a whole in the future?

Mr. President, if you couldn't keep your promises to our community while in control of both houses of Congress and the White House during the 111th Congress, why should LGBT American working families trust you and the Democrats to keep the promises you make to us in 2012?

I would want the President to be proud to call us Americans. I wish Americans would learn instead of knocking us they should be holding us up to the world and saying yes we have T and LGB people and they contribute to making this a great country. But go even further by expressing that our rights as Americans are just as god given and inalienable as those who think it is their god given right to persecute us. Some love to hold up the Declaration of Independence because it invokes god but they fail to acknowledge that the author, founding father,and former President Thomas Jefferson was a deitist.His god let Americans believe in any god or not they choose. I have not one doubt that given Thomas Jefferson's dedication to education he would take the knowledge we have today and come to the conclusion it is not right to deny us our rights or to call the medical procedures we desperately need cosmetic.He would also acknowledge some of us are proud to call ourselves Veterans and Americans inspite of the hardships thrust upon us and that we are just as worthy to serve this country as any American.

Kathy Padilla | February 13, 2011 12:46 PM

Not to be too blunt Joe - but that he doesn't need to go through you to find out what's important to us?

Maybe I'll give him a ring.

Stonewall Girl Stonewall Girl | February 13, 2011 5:02 PM

Kathy is absolutely correct... Why should transpeople need another gatekeeper? Can we not speak for ourselves? Should we not have that respect?

Certainly we want and need as many wonderful and supportive allies as possible to aid and assist us as we likewise support and aid them, but we MUST have a direct voice to have any kind of respect!

For all the transpeople working on progressive and LGB issues, DADT, Marriage Equality, Womens rights, etc, etc, we need our allies to go support our direct voice in taking the lead for "our" rights and our responsibilities.

We also need more transpeople to come out and step up and assert ourselves in a positive way!

I'll be in DC in 2 weeks for the DNC meeting and plan on giving that message!

Yes Kathy is correct. I am not a gate keeper. I am a conversation starter, an inquisitive journalist, and an advocate.

Kathy Padilla | February 13, 2011 12:52 PM

And that we really can forge our own connections to those in the White House, thank you.

I would certainly update this - and it's just a two pager - but - the Administration did choose to publish it on their transition team website.

They should continue their ongoing efforts to speak directly to

In the words of James T. Kirk: "What does God need with a starship?"

The answer that was cut from Star Trek V: "About as much as trans people need someone with this sort of connection to "Lurleen Blogovitch" ( )

Joe, first thanks for you continuing efforts! You are a seriously brave and patient man, lol.

Second, as you can see, the 'trans community' isn't so much of a community, even leaving aside the TG/WBT conflicts. It seems almost as if every single person has their own agenda (kinda like the 'gay community'), and many transwhatever ppl don't want to do anything that seems to align them in any way with the 'GLB' community and as seen right above, feel insulted if GLB ppl try to help. Which makes it pretty hard.

So here is what this one trans person would like Obama to hear, but I won't presume to speak for any other trans ppl.

(PLEASE see disclaimers at the end before you flame me, everyone, though as usual I am willing to engage pretty much anyone, it might save you a little heartburn straight off! :)

Although I don't feel that an inclusive ENDA will be the cure-all that a lot of ppl do, I feel a federal level ENDA, stand-alone, or as an extension to other human rights acts, is a good place to start.

The executive order thing mentioned above for the military would be great too--all federal agencies, including the military and the VA, to make trans inclusion part of their policies. This should include direction to the Justice Department and the IRS (transition-related expenses should be allowed as medically necessary).

Making insurance companies cover transitioning expenses. It's a regulated industry, so regulate it. This is so rare as to add no real cost to insurance overall (though perhaps lots of other groups might say the same about their needs, and it all add up to a lot? Well, we already have the orphan drug policy, this is much like that).

Policies or laws to make discrimination in the medical industry illegal and punishable. Hospitals and doctors have a strong reputation for misgendering, refusing care, and giving bad care.

Something for youth! I put this last, even though to me it is one of the most important needs, b/c I don't have a lot of ideas around this. Youth shelters come to mind, though I hate the idea of letting young ppl get to the point that this point is where we engage them. Funding for youth services would be awesome, and explicit non-discrimination policies for school that receive federal funds would be great.

One last thing I'd like to say is some editorializing, unfortunately.

Although I generally don't feel part of the GLB community (even though I consider myself gay, and a lesbian), and really can see why cis GLBs wouldn't care about trans ppl, and even consider them to be dragging them down in their own efforts, or to be appropriating sex-specific gay spaces, I really do see us as all having common cause, not just the TGs, genderfucks, TSs and even the WBTs/HBSers, but everyone who doesn't fit into neat sex/gender roles, including cis-GLBs. And I really do appreciate when cis ppl, esp cis GLB ppl, stand up for us.

Really, though, I do feel that we all, cis-GLB, trans-GLB or str8, do have a lot of common cause. We aren't all the same. All cis white gay men in their 40s living in the same 'gay enclave' who are close friends and love each other like family don't even have everything in common!

So what I would want to see is not just all this for trans ppl, but for all gay ppl too, cis, trans, whatever, while making sure that trans str8s had support too, and weren't sneered at or seen as the enemy. The trans str8 ppl go through a lot of the same crap that gay ppl do, esp when transitioning.


(Note to 'post-transsexuals'/WBTs/HBSers: I know you may fit extremely well into the traditional binary gender roles, I am talking about that you were assigned one sex at birth, and now live as/are another.)

(Note to cis-GLBs who don't like it when ppl say they are also TG: I'm not saying that you are TG! I am just saying that your gender expression is most of what tends to gets you noticed and acted against; as someone pointed out a while back, really, that is what most of us are doing at least to some degree when we use out 'gaydar', though a lot of it is just things that str8 ppl wouldn't even notice, is more about interests and knowledge and not 'looking/acting gay'. And it seems to me that even if you are the most macho guy in the world, if ppl know you have a boyfriend, that is pretty gender non-conforming in itself! :)

(Note to ppl who hate gender deconstruction: I am not interested in this, and definitely not interested in using this as a weapon against others. My personal position is that gender expression, like pretty much all human behavior, is based on an interaction between environment and genetics, and is neither all socialization not all neurological.)

In addition to what you said about insurance and the health care fields - both very important - I think streamlining how documentation is changed, giving states a unified template for correcting our legal sex markers. As it stands, we have a patchwork of processes and results ranging from no changes under any circumstances, notations on existing documentation, and reissuing new birth certificates with no direct tie to the old document.

It doesn't matter what the president knows or doesn't know about us. He or people working with him know enough about our situation. It's whether there is any will to expend political capital in our behalf. The answer is pretty obviously no. Real equality isn't going to come from him anyway.

We need to get away from trying to advance at the federal level and concentrate much more on legal challenges, working on the local level, refusing to allow media to misrepresent us and working, if need be, on a case by case basis to minimize employment discrimination.

So, really, IMO this question does us zero good and the trans community thinking someone else is going to bestow equality upon us is deluded, be it large LGB orgs, or Obama.

Gina, I agree that posting a comment here is not likely to change anything. I also agree that local and state level action is good (Indianapolis and Louisville have gender expression/identity laws, even though IN and KY are rabidly anti-trans); the right-wingers across the country are certainly using state and local approaches very effectively against ppl they hate.

On the other hand, what does it hurt? Whether or not the Obama Administration cares about trans ppl or wants or intends to help them (my take is negative on all three), at least getting issues and concerns out there may reach some ppl, and help them understand what we face and what we need a little better. It might make someone a hate us a little less, or like us a little more, or even change someone's mind.

If nothing else, it might be something more positive than the 'TG/TS wars'? (And I personally hereby swear to respond to none of those comments that might appear in this thread, unlike the previous one.)

Stonewall Girl Stonewall Girl | February 13, 2011 7:38 PM

You might be surprised!

There has been an awful lot of positive things done in the Obama administration to benefit transpeople and give us a modicum of respect that is absolutely unparalleled in any previous administration!

Can more be done? Of Course! We also need to ask, how are we helping ourselves to create needed changes?

You alluded to TV/TS infighting that makes our community look like fools. Indeed some of us "demonize" folks that are actually doing something, rather than try and be part of any solution! We don't have to agree with everything that our "out" advocates may be doing, and to be perfectly honest, I have my own disagreements at times with our beltway folks, but we have so few positive "do-ers" and so many negative "talkers" that infighting without a respectful dialogue just doesn't help any of us!

I agree some good things have been done. However, due to the limits of the President's actual power, those things are very specific and limited to a small number of ppl (I kinda doubt that very many of the trans ppl who are barely scraping by are making too many trips abroad?).

One other problem, and this certainly applies to most of the things I mentioned above, is that the changes that Obama has made are all temporary. Day two of a Republican presidency (day one is to call all his friends while he sits in the big chair to say, "Guess where I am!") every single executive order by Obama will be voided. Day three starts the roll-out of new ones that take away rights instead of giving them. (I am waiting for this to be pointed out to the gay and trans communities when Obama is trying to get reeelected.)

What we really need is laws, and we need Obama and the Dems in Congress to work to make them happen. Of course, with the new House, which is working as hard as it can to take away rights directly, or to take them away indirectly by defunding them, we aren't too likely to get anything there.

Stonewall Girl Stonewall Girl | February 16, 2011 11:55 PM

Of course, legislation carries far more permanence than an executive order, and yes, folks should be reminded of that at election time and not sit on their duffs.

But even an executive order can have an additional benefit in that it is a positive step to change people and the culture, by bringing out the whole concept of gender identity and transgender people out of the closet and into a positive light.

Unfortunately I don't expect anything to come out of Congress in the next 2 years with Speaker Boehner in charge of the House

Regarding Hate Crimes, I've actually seen an interest by Justice Department lawyers re the LGBT community. I would like to see a recognition of Transgender Hate Crimes by having the President issue a proclamation recognizing Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Since it is all about elections, I would also like to see more transgender people involved in the 2012 election and many more transgender delegates to the convention in Charlotte.

Thank you for reminding us. No one will give us rights. The rights we get are the rights we take for ourselves. Nothing comes without a fight. The problem is that getting trans people to stand together is like herding cats.

Gee.....a direct in the the office of the president?

Restore all the civil rights stolen during the prior administration, first order of business

Stop giving the store away to the Rethugs...they hate you already so be liberated by that and do what you already know is right to restore honour and the moral high ground internationally to the US.

Recognition that since many so called mainstream religions recognize same sex marriages, for the State and Federal governments not to do so is a direct violation of the first and fourteenth amendments.

And after that, a simple federal recognition that someone with a female body and neurology is female for all legal purposes.....even if that female body was the result of surgical correction.

Thank you for your attention.

Yes, yes, yes, and yes! :)

Mr. President,

Thank you for passing the hate crimes law. At least if someone kills me because of hate they are going to rot in prison longer.

Make discrimination against the LGBTTIQ community illegal. Everyone should be able to make a living and have a home to live in.

In a free country citizens should be able to move where they want to without having to research local and state laws to see if they are even able to move there. Right now it is legal to deny employment and housing to the LGBTTIQ communities in 30 states and and extra 8 states for the TTIQ communities.

"At least if someone kills me because of hate they are going to rot in prison longer."


Well, if the police and prosecutor even charge him with one, which doesn't seem to happen much in actual practice.

I love the way you phrased the 'live where you want' thing! It's funny, I never really thought of it the way you put it. I certainly think of those things when I ever think of moving somewhere, always in fear. This is something I will point out to ppl when talking about trans and gay issues! :)

Dear Barack,
I voted for you. You promised to quickly end the 2 wars George had embroiled our country in. I will not vote for you again. Best wishes.

When did presidential candidate Barack Obama promise to end the 2 wars?

Yes, he did say that we needed to get the hell out of Iraq (that was why he was the nominee) but he made no such promise about Afghanistan...instead he said that he would expand the war in Afghanistan (for what little good that it has done).

I am deeply grateful for the work Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton did to allow us as trans people to obtain passports with the correct gender marker. This is a big deal and Obama did not get the credit he deserved for this change from national LGBT groups.

So I want to say thank you.

There is plenty of more work to be done. Two areas that come to mind are health care and military service. The fact that the Defense Dept continues to openly discriminate against trans people is probably illegal an should be halted by executive order ASAP. And the health care overhaul should be done in such a way that prevents the discrimination against trans people that is commonplace. Everyone should be able to see their doctor and get basic health care, trans or not.

How about that we are real people! No matter where, what, or how we present on the T-people scale we are still people! WE are killed and/or targeted to be beat up and hurt far more often than any other group! Often the medical, police, and other first responders will not tend to the injuries and we end up dead or worse! T-People are not still not allowed to be "out" in the military as we will be discharged for mental illness or some other reason!
Mr. President In your campaigning you promised often that you would pass a federal ENDA but you have not made that any part of your agenda! T-people will be coming to talk to you please listen and make your promises come true?

Realistically - it's too late. He should have spoken out, openly and in public, in favour of ENDA in the first two years, before the mid-terms.

The scheduling was tight, but ENDA in the house certainly could have been accomplished, with or without this. The Senate might well have needed his prompting - there's little point in getting a "moral victory" when people are dying due to legalised discrimination.

I'll remind you of the stats:

* Respondents were nearly four times more likely to live in extreme poverty, with household income of less than $10,000.
* Respondents were twice as likely to be unemployed compared to the population as a whole. Half of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment or other mistreatment in the workplace, and one in four were fired because of their gender identity or expression.
* While discrimination was pervasive for the entire sample, it was particularly pronounced for people of color. African-American transgender respondents fared far worse than all others in many areas studied.
* Housing discrimination was also common. 19% reported being refused a home or apartment and 11% reported being evicted because of their gender identity or expression. One in five respondents experienced homelessness because of their gender identity or expression.
* An astonishing 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to only 1.6% of the general population.
* Discrimination in health care and poor health outcomes were frequently experienced by respondents. 19% reported being refused care due to bias against transgender or gender-nonconforming people, with this figure even higher for respondents of color.

ENDA would only have partly helped the first and second issues; it will take an amendment to the Civil Rights Act 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act to deal with the rest. That is what we have to work for in the future, "compromise" doesn't work when watered-down partial protections are opposed just as vehemently as full ones.

Anyway. we've missed to Golden Moment, so must move on and see what we *can* do.

Start with directing the DOJ to actually enforce the Matthew Shephard Act. There's been dozens of blatant hate crimes, probably hundreds, committed against GLBTs that haven't been adequately followed up by local law enforcement. Arson. Murder.

But only one Federal investigation and prosecution in all that time - and that on the basis of race rather than GLBT.

Next, a directive to the Military to get its fertiliser together regarding equal treatment for Gays, and to revise the regulations regarding Trans and Intersexed people in accordance with the "best practice" of other modern, professional armies overseas. UK, Canada, Australia.

Those the POTUS can accomplish without reference to other branches of Government, and by expending little political capital on arm-twisting and persuasion. Do it on a Friday afternoon before a major event, and it will pass un-noticed.

The definition of "man" and "woman" from a Federal level is fraught, yet DOMA at least relies on those terms. It's not a simple issue for some Intersexed and Trans people, and the result is a legal mess.

“Taking this situation to its logical conclusion, Mrs. Littleton, while in San Antonio, Texas, is a male and has a void marriage; as she travels to Houston, Texas, and enters federal property, she is female and a widow; upon traveling to Kentucky she is female and a widow; but, upon entering Ohio, she is once again male and prohibited from marriage; entering Connecticut, she is again female and may marry; if her travel takes her north to Vermont, she is male and may marry a female; if instead she travels south to New Jersey, she may marry a male.”

See on the subject.

It's possible a presidential directive could be issued on the subject, but what it would say would be distinctly controversial within the TS, TG, and IS communities. It's a problem with no simple answer, as we're trying to coerce biological reality into fitting a legislative binary model which is only an approximation.

I suggest establishment of a formal sex recognition panel (on the lines of overseas models, learning from their mistakes) that would declare someone to be of their claimed sex in contentious cases on the basis of medical evidence - including psychological evidence - for the purposes of interpreting federal acts. We can make DOMA an asset, not a liability, while it's still current, and also clarify provisions on sex discrimination in the Civil Rights Act 1964. Federal Courts could ignore such a ruling - but their own ruling could in turn be ignored for Federal purposes, and it would at least establish a rebuttable presumption not dependent on the vagaries and contradictions in state law.

This might require legislation - but I think a good constitutional lawyer could argue that it does not, it merely clarifies a detail in existing law, one that was not considered worthy of note as it was thought to apply to so few people at the time. De minimis non curat lex and all that.

The first two suggestions could be accomplished in 2011 - even in the next month. The third in 2012, but this may be too much to expect.

On past performance, we expect Zip, Nil, Nada. That may be due to past ignorance of the scope of the problem. No TS or IS person found those stats "astonishing", but they might serve as a wake-up call that "Houston, we've had a problem".

You are incredible and awesome! Thanks for that!

How about "Get your heads out of your collective asses". Oops, wait, "get your heads out of the Republicans' asses" is more accurate these days, isn't it?

Angela Brightfeather | February 13, 2011 11:12 PM

Mr. President,
Three years ago during the Bush Administration, an effort to provide adequate services to Transgender Veterans and to treat them with respect within the VA Adminsatration facilities was started and worked on by the Transgender American Veteran's Association, the National Center for Transgender Equality and a select group within the VA Administration.

That joint effort and collaboration produced a new policy statement that was supposed to have been made public and become the official policy of the VA Administration in dealing with Trans Veterans.

Believe me, there was a real need for this policy due to the mistreatment, lack of respect for service and confusion about medical treatments allowed Trans Veterans.

That policy has been allowed to linger in the VA and has not become policy for the last 2 1/2 years and we need you to intervene and make the agreed to policy a reality. You don't have to fight anyone in Congress for only have to tell the VA to impliment the new policy and get on with it. This will change the lives of many Transgender Veterans.

Mr. President during your interview with Bill O'reilly pre Super Bowl you mentioned having to make decisions knowing the information you have at hand may not be accurate. I would ask you to hold suspect information about Transsexual issues coming from the LGBT community.The Transgender part of the LGB community is by far the smallest component of the Transsexual community and the numbers don't lie. Their needs and issues are important but they only represent one side of the coin. I would also ask you to ask those from the LGBT community why isn't there any heterosexual women with a TS history in a position of power within there community.The simple fact is the LGBT community holds my needs hostage to theirs.This issue also extends into our institutions of higher learning who's positions are based almost solely on LGB organization recomendations.While most of the recomendations are well meant they tend to be LGB biased and not reflective of all TS/TG issues.

"The Transgender part of the LGB community is by far the smallest component of the Transsexual community and the numbers don't lie."

You have it backwards. There are far more crossdressers then transsexuals, and many transsexuals also call themselves transgender. The numbers don't lie.

Actually Monica the numbers you present do lie. The vast majority of transsexual women Identify as heterosexual.There are no heterosexual transsexual women in lgbt leadership positions. Any survey conducted by the LGBT community will almost surely be mostly representative of the portion of T people that also identify as lgb.Your needs are tied to mine but are also different that doesn't mean I'm discounting your needs but it does seem pretty apparent that LGB people and LGB oriented T people are more than happy to discount mine.I would like to see a disclaimer put out by the lgbt stating that there studies and positions may not reflect accurately the experiences of heterosexual transsexuals.Monica you also know that I am a Veteran I haven't joined your organization for a couple reasons. First I do not identify with the term Transgender in anyway thats is a gay community term that I associate with LGB T's. Also from my experience with the VA they have changed their policies based more on experiences with individuals than by anything any organization has done to include yours. Remember when I informed you of my problem with the Dr. and your advice was to only complain. To this day I regret not pressing charges and hanging the bastard. I am also going to pursue getting the VA to change it's policies concerning the use of the word transgender to only those who choose to identify by it.

The president can only do so much, realistically, in terms of passing specific laws to help the trans community. What I think he can do, however, in the light of the horrible situation documented in the Task Force, "Injustice at every turn" study, would be to appoint a presidential commission - one with a significant trans component - that can study the various ways systemic discrimination has been built into the federal system and how to correct them.

This would do two things. First, it would give our community definitive targets to aim at in our political activism. Second, it would place the power and visibility of the executive branch firmly behind the idea that discrimination based on gender identity and expression has go to go. Doing this would have some political upsides as well, I would think.

In other words, Mr President, put your money where your mouth is.

What an awesome idea! :)