Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dear Rachael Maddow

Dear Ms. Maddow,

Listening to your show on MSNBC, it's interesting how excited you are about the end of DADT, and for good reason, both for the military which has never shown the policy worked but actually hurt, and for personal reasons as a lesbian. It's a step forward, as a veteran myself, who has never had a problem with gays or lesbian in the military or in life. It's about respecting people and human beings.

But you have never mentioned DADT never addressed transpeople (transgender people meaning those with GID or live as the other gender 24/7) and the repeal doesn't protect them now. They are still banned fron enlisting. They are still banned from coming out, where they will face discharge if they do. They will still never get all the medical care they need.

Did you do a story when transgender organizations got the President to issue an executive order about transpeople, abolishing discrimination in government service against transpeople and recommending a repeal of discrimination by health insurance companies in the FEHB against medical care for transpeople. It was a significant step for transpeople, you overlooked.

History has shown you and the whole LGB community have forgotten and will continue to forget transpeople and the transgender community when it's expedient. And where will you be and what will you say to get transpeople free in to be out in the military and get the medical care they need for their transition. We're not talking a lot of people, but enough. Is a voice too much to ask?

You did an excellent, albeit with some misinformation, 2 minute segment when Amanda Simpson, an out post-transition women, was appointed by President Obama to a top position in the Department of Commerce. But how many segments have you done for transpeople since in comparison with segments about gay and lesbians? Granted there won't be a lot but why not a few more on important issues effecting them?

Will you? Or will you speak up only when the far right raise an issue against a very public issue about transpeople. I'm not arguing against, I actually appreciate, your segments on transpeople, but the transpeople need your help too. Or will you as most LGB people and organizations, including the HRC and Representative Barney Franks, forget transpeople because it interfers with their agenda and goals?

Two recent changes of note could have easily be covered on your show. The Veterans Administration changed their policy on the treatment of transgender people, including adding some of the care associated with transitions. The Office of Personnel Management, from the President's decision, announced rights and protections for transgender employees as well as a recommnedation to remove the exclusion for transition care under the Federal Employees Health Benefit plan for 2012

While the former went into effect, the latter won't be known until the health insurers release their plans this December for the coming year. For those whose need the transition care, it's a milestone which could help them for the major costs associated with a transition, especially the final surgery to get the marker on their birth certificate changed.

Those are two advancements, long fought and greatfully appreciated by the transgender community, came with only modest support of the LGBT community. It wasn't a LGB issue, so they weren't there, but the trangender community knew this would happen and succeded without them.

That's the history of transpeople, being told to help LGBT issues but only when the issue involves LGB ones, leaving T-only issues to transpeople and transgender organizations. And while you have a good record there, you don't have a great one when you I see all the segments on gays and lesbians and their issues.

So, what will you do now with DADT and the military for transgender people?

Respectfully yours, Scott.

1 comment:

  1. So true; we're always the first ones thrown under the bus. I could be wrong, but I don't see Rachel caring one bit about trans people. It's not her "thing".