I reported on January 31 of the case of Robina Asti, who was fighting to receive benefits from her deceased husband’s Social Security, but was denied because Social Security didn’t recognize her marriage. Well it didn’t take too long, mercifully, for action to happen. My friend Debi pointed me to this update where it now appears Mrs. Asti is going to be receiving the benefits she deserves. Good job!
Anyone out there who comes across this column and doesn’t like transgender persons, thinks we’re weird, icky, threatening, destroying the fabric of the nation – or worse?
This is who you hurt.
Robina Asti, a 92-year-old transgender woman who lost her husband, companion, and love, is being denied survivor benefits by the Social Security Administration. Her marriage was invalidated, and thus this great nation of ours is doing the “right thing” by denying her $500 extra in benefits. Wait, what?
The scuttlebutt I’d heard for some time is that it was well-known that Jennifer was trans, but just refusing to come out. Doesn’t matter; she has and seems committed to doing a lot of good for the community.
This news won’t go away, but I reckon that it will die down a bit. Probably we can expect that the Federal Government will deny Manning hormone treatment, and it will go to court, and then the Feds will likely lose, after spending $100,000 or more in Federal money to fight shelling out all of $50/month for estradiol and spironolactone.
The really depressing thing about this news are the comments below the article. Le sigh.
This article taught me a few things I did not know, such as the fact that in Canada, Thailand, and Israel transgender soldiers are allowed to serve. I find this unusual for Israel, and need to investigate. I was also surprised to see that missing a testicle still disqualifies one for military service. There are also many good links in the article to related transgender topics and papers.
(Above: photograph of Breanna Manning) Not many people know that Wikileaks source Bradley Manning, currently about to start serving a very lengthy sentence for embarrassing the United States government by leaking classified information, has a history of claiming to be a transgender woman (“Breanna”). I say “claims” because in the past he has claimed to be straight/cis-gendered, and at other times they’ve claimed to be a gay male.
It’s possible Bradley/Breanna hasn’t figured it out themselves – very few of us had all the answers right away, no? Or it’s possible it’s a scam to gain leniency. Whatever the case, I’m glad the mass media hasn’t latched onto the “transgender” label in a negative context over this.
The Williams Institute has released a new report on transgender veterans,Still Serving in Silence: Transgender Service Members and Veterans in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. This report is a statistical survey of 1,261 transgender veterans and currently serving troops, and asks them a variety of questions about their experiences, including discrimination and challenges which they have faced.
Edited to add: yes I know the ladies in the photograph are almost certainly not transgender, based on the interviews with them. I can’t show a photo of a transwoman or transman kissing their spouse, because…we can’t. That’s part of the problem.
Well isn’t this big news? The same research center which helped end “don’t ask, don’t tell” has now received a huge grant to explore transgender military service. The grant will fund 11 studies and 16 researchers over three years, for the purpose of determining if military readiness would be compromised by the inclusion of transgender troops.
The Veterans Administration, admittedly under the whip of the Obama Administration, has changed its policies greatly in the last 3 years for how transgender veterans are treated. However, the military still does not want transgender soldiers, and even some quisling transgender veterans agree with this policy.
A very interesting development. There has been more and more chatter over the last couple of years about how transpeople should break free of an LGB community which sometimes tries to throw us under the metaphorical bus. Here is one of the biggest rifts I’ve seen in recent times.
This is big news for veterans, as apparently it’s now possible to change your gender marker on your military records and Veteran ID cards. At least it worked for Navy Veteran Autumn Sandeen, as explained in the linked
A wonderful 18-minute video interview of Lt. Colonel Cate McGregor, the highest-ranking openly transsexual solider serving anywhere in the world.