February 22, 2020, 04:47:21 pm

Coming Out as Transgender (Senior Member)

Started by abbynormaled, August 21, 2019, 03:20:32 pm

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abbynormaled

If your only contribution to this thread is your personal views on transgender people, please consider your commitment to the RESPECT core value and refrain. This is a discussion about how to handle transgender senior members in the squadron.




I've been a member for a few years now, having attained the rank of 1st Lt and in a position of authority within my squadron, including being considered for next-in-line to become the unit Commander.

Last night, I told my current commander about my nascent transgenderism with a plan to get him and the other leaders of the squadron to be proactive in reminding the rest of the squadron of their obligations to uphold CAP regulations (including the non-discrimination policy that specifically mentions "gender identity or expression") and our core values.  In other words, my gender identity should not be an issue so long as appropriate regs (including uniforms) are being adhered to.

For those of you who don't know, CAPP 1-10 details the steps needed to change one's gender for the purposes of uniform requirements (as well as transgender accommodations for overnight activities):

"Members may request authorization to wear the uniform corresponding to their gender identity. A letter, including medical documentation that the individual is a transgender person, is required. Members submit their requests in writing through the chain of command to CAP/DP. For help with policy questions, contact CAP/DP."

Unfortunately, my CC's reaction was "I didn't sign up to deal with this, and I'm not going to deal with it. I'm going to send it up the chain of command and let them deal with it."

What is there to deal with? CAP policy is clear, and the non-discrimination policy states that members "Will comply with the letter and the intent of the CAP Nondiscrimination Policy." (Section 4.5.1.)

vorteks

Quote from: abbynormaled on August 21, 2019, 03:20:32 pm
What is there to deal with? CAP policy is clear, and the non-discrimination policy states that members "Will comply with the letter and the intent of the CAP Nondiscrimination Policy." (Section 4.5.1.)


Why don't you ask your CC?

FW

"What is there to deal with? CAP policy is clear, and the non-discrimination policy states that members "Will comply with the letter and the intent of the CAP Nondiscrimination Policy." (Section 4.5.1.)"

Practice may be different than policy. People with little experience in "dealing with this" may experience transient negativity.  I suggest some patience with your colleagues, however in no way tolerate unacceptable behavior.  You are an active member of CAP in good standing.  Gender identity has no effect on mission performance. There are defined channels to follow should you need assistance,  I understand your query, and applaud your decision to transition.  Your are correct with regard to the regs, and I hope the other members of your squadron will not make it difficult.  Good luck. 

Eclipse

August 21, 2019, 03:55:52 pm #3 Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 04:19:40 pm by Eclipse
The only place this is CAP's business is in regards to the uniform you wear.

CAPP 1-10, Page 9.3
https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/media/cms/CAPP_110_Special_Needs_31C5DB879B705.pdf
"9.3. Transgender Accommodations. Members may request authorization to wear the uniform
corresponding to their gender identity. A letter, including medical documentation that the individual is a
transgender person, is required. Members submit their requests in writing through the chain of
command to CAP/DP."


Once authorization is approved, (and not before) forward the letter to your CC & Wing CC (who will likely receive it anyway),
and wear the uniform as indicated.

And then move on.  A few might ask, answer (or don't) at whatever level you are comfortable, and if there are
issues, manage them directly as exceptions.

This does not need to be a "reminder", or a "session" or anything else similar.

You may be surprised how little people care about your personal life.



Holding Pattern

Quote from: Eclipse on August 21, 2019, 03:55:52 pm
The only place this is CAP's business is in regards to the uniform you wear.

CAPP 1-10, Page 9.3
https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/media/cms/CAPP_110_Special_Needs_31C5DB879B705.pdf
"9.3. Transgender Accommodations. Members may request authorization to wear the uniform
corresponding to their gender identity. A letter, including medical documentation that the individual is a
transgender person, is required. Members submit their requests in writing through the chain of
command to CAP/DP."


My suggestion would be to /cc your Unit CC and Wing CC on the request to the CAP/DP.


That isn't the process. They submit the request THROUGH their chain of command. They don't cc their chain of command.

Eclipse

Quote from: Holding Pattern on August 21, 2019, 04:11:10 pm
That isn't the process. They submit the request THROUGH their chain of command. They don't cc their chain of command.


Fair enough on the verbiage, but in this case I would hazard the best case is simply send it direct and /cc everyone.
Quibble about "through", etc., but no one below NHQ has any authority to deny or approve the request, and the "through"
just delays the process unnecessarily.

As a CC, if I were advising a member on the process, that's what I would suggest.



Holding Pattern

Quote from: Eclipse on August 21, 2019, 04:22:09 pm
Quote from: Holding Pattern on August 21, 2019, 04:11:10 pm
That isn't the process. They submit the request THROUGH their chain of command. They don't cc their chain of command.


Fair enough on the verbiage, but in this case I would hazard the best case is simply send it direct and /cc everyone.
Quibble about "through", etc., but no one below NHQ has any authority to deny or approve the request, and the "through"
just delays the process unnecessarily.

As a CC, if I were advising a member on the process, that's what I would suggest.


The nice thing is that if you were the CC advising him, if any blowback occurred, it would blow back on you.

Based on the OP's information, the CC appears to be less than supportive.

With that in mind I would follow the letter of the pamphlet and follow up accordingly. Or get permission in writing to send it up direct.

abbynormaled

Quote from: Eclipse on August 21, 2019, 03:55:52 pm

And then move on.  A few might ask, answer (or don't) at whatever level you are comfortable, and if there are
issues, manage them directly as exceptions.

This does not need to be a "reminder", or a "session" or anything else similar.

You may be surprised how little people care about your personal life.


This is exactly what I had hoped for / expected. I was taken aback by the need to "deal with it" and having to send it up the chain. The discussion with my CC was a courtesy so that he wasn't blindsided, in case some members did react negatively. I was looking for confirmation that there's not really anything to "do" and the replies here have confirmed that for me. I can send my request to (up through the CoC) CAP/DP when I'm ready.

Eclipse

Quote from: Holding Pattern on August 21, 2019, 04:28:46 pm
The nice thing is that if you were the CC advising him, if any blowback occurred, it would blow back on you.


Yes.  That's what being a commander is about.

What, exactly, sort of "blow-back would you expect"?

Quote from: Holding Pattern on August 21, 2019, 04:28:46 pm
Based on the OP's information, the CC appears to be less than supportive.


All the more reason to go VFR direct.  While it's not fair to expect every CC to react negatively,
the intent is to simply get the respective member the need as expediently as possible, and not
allow anyone's "negative" response or reaction slow the process.

This isn't a situation where the chain is approving, disapproving, or even commenting, just passing, and this isn't a place to be playing
telephone. They are clearly involved as a courtesy and for their information.  Nothing more, and the EEO office isn't going to deny
this sort of request on the grounds that the Group CC didn't see it first.

I suppose you could make the argument that the local CC would insure that the request contains everything required, but beyond
that it should not make any difference.




Eclipse

Quote from: abbynormaled on August 21, 2019, 03:20:32 pm
Unfortunately, my CC's reaction was "I didn't sign up to deal with this, and I'm not going to deal with it. I'm going to send it up the chain of command and let them deal with it."


Actually, besides the unnecessary comment, he did exactly what the pamphlet says he should.



Holding Pattern

Quote from: Eclipse on August 21, 2019, 04:41:29 pm
Quote from: Holding Pattern on August 21, 2019, 04:28:46 pm
The nice thing is that if you were the CC advising him, if any blowback occurred, it would blow back on you.


Yes.  That's what being a commander is about.

What, exactly, sort of "blow-back would you expect"?



There are individuals within CAP that like to elicit control over every little thing in their command umbrella, and not all of them for the best of reasons.

An example scenario here would be a wing commander issuing a LOC/LOR for bypassing the chain of command by simply cc'ing them instead of sending the request through them.

That documented lack of respect for the chain of command then gets used to deny that person's application for command in the future.

I'm not saying that would happen here; but I've seen adverse actions for dumber reasons, and this one would have a grain of truth in it.

The Officer Basic Course covers this in both the Chain of Command document and the Organization of Civil Air Patrol document, with appropriate references to regulation.


xyzzy

What is there to deal with? Quite a bit, from an administrative point of view. In addition to pamphlet 1-10, which calls itself a suggested best practice, there is CAPR 36‐1, CAP Nondiscrimination Program and CAP MANUAL 39-1, CIVIL AIR PATROL UNIFORM MANUAL. The person dealing with this must comb through all of these to figure out what is a requirement, vs. what is a suggestion.

Then there is deciding what the strategy should be, within the allowed options. One approach is for the member to deal with the state government first, and then show up with a new driver license and/or birth certificate, and ask that the CAP records be updated to match the provided documents. No accommodation, no medical letter, just a records change.

Or perhaps the member prefers to retain the earlier gender for legal purposes, but wants an accommodation to be treated as the other gender for some or all CAP purposes. So should the existing gender be retained in the eServices profile, but have an accommodation on record for uniform wear? Or let the eServices gender be different than that recognized by the state?

What if the member chooses to get a driver license with the gender shown as "X", as allowed in some states?

What if the member lives in a state with flexible rules about gender, but goes on a mission to a state with relatively inflexible rules? What choices now in terms of CAP gender status will be most useful during a mission to a relatively inflexible state?

It's fairly simple to get some result, but more complicated to get the best result.

Fester

I don't have much to add.  If you submit the required documentation to your CC and he sends it up the chain, you just wait for the result.  If he fails to send it up the chain (since he has NO approval or denial authority) then you will have to figure out what your next step is...  the next highest rung in the chain or an IG complaint.  But until you've submitted the necessary documentation, I wouldn't waste your time or energy on worrying about it. 

All that said, much of CAP will not respond as kindly and respectfully as they should.  Much of CAP has no experience in interacting with gay and lesbian members, let alone those who are trans.  With a lack of experience typically comes misunderstanding at best and intolerance at worst.  Be patient with reaction, but do not tolerate any type of discrimination.  And lastly, congratulations on your transition.  And the courage it takes to pursue this journey in your life.  Even today, in 2019, it's not an easy journey.
1stLt, CAP
Squadron CC
Group CPO
Eaker - 1996

Ozzy

Quote from: Fester on August 22, 2019, 05:09:59 am
All that said, much of CAP will not respond as kindly and respectfully as they should.


That's a pretty bold statement right there.

From my experience, members either don't care or have a question or two before carrying on to do the tons of work they have to do.
Ozyilmaz, MSgt, CAP
C/Lt. Colonel (Ret.)
NYWG Encampment 07, 08, 09, 10, 17
CTWG Encampment 09, 11, 16
NER Cadet Leadership School 10
GAWG Encampment 18, 19
FLWG Winter Encampment 19

THRAWN

Quote from: Ozzy on August 22, 2019, 01:19:59 pm
Quote from: Fester on August 22, 2019, 05:09:59 am
All that said, much of CAP will not respond as kindly and respectfully as they should.


That's a pretty bold statement right there.

From my experience, members either don't care or have a question or two before carrying on to do the tons of work they have to do.


Or have a cousin/best friend/sister/first hand experience with the subject.
Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016

THRAWN

Quote from: Fester on August 22, 2019, 05:09:59 am
I don't have much to add.  If you submit the required documentation to your CC and he sends it up the chain, you just wait for the result.  If he fails to send it up the chain (since he has NO approval or denial authority) then you will have to figure out what your next step is...  the next highest rung in the chain or an IG complaint.  But until you've submitted the necessary documentation, I wouldn't waste your time or energy on worrying about it. 

All that said, much of CAP will not respond as kindly and respectfully as they should.  Much of CAP has no experience in interacting with gay and lesbian members, let alone those who are trans.  With a lack of experience typically comes misunderstanding at best and intolerance at worst.  Be patient with reaction, but do not tolerate any type of discrimination.  And lastly, congratulations on your transition.  And the courage it takes to pursue this journey in your life.  Even today, in 2019, it's not an easy journey.


Kind of a sweeping generalization. Maybe in your neck of the woods, but that's not the case everywhere. Not too long ago, there was a prohibition on gays in the military. Because of that, guess where a lot of people who would not otherwise be able to serve in uniform ended up?
Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016

MisterCD

A little historical perspective (second paragraph)



One of CAP's greatest strengths is our inclusive nature which has been a cornerstone of the organization since its inception. Thank you for reaching out to your fellow CAP members for support and guidance - we are stronger as an organization for your membership.

While I think the regulations have been touched on in this post, I'll throw out a personal anecdote. A coworker and friend of mine is transitioning at the moment. In my conversations with her, I've grown as a person understanding more about the process and her decision. Perhaps a degree of education might help your commander as well?

On a side note you may/not not be aware of, but the creator of the transgender pride flag is a U.S. Navy veteran with service aboard two ballistic missile submarines. 

Spam


The sky is not necessarily falling.

We had a former member rejoin last year after a 2 year gap, during which he underwent surgery. He asked for advice from us (Wing) and was guided to look at a couple of Squadrons, he visited them, and rejoined one - with updated legal documentation, through NHQ, reactivating all the old records - where he participated without incident for half a year. He ended up realizing that his interests had changed, and in his resignation respectfully thanked all of us for welcoming him back. I in turn thanked him for all his contributions; I'd take him back in an Atlanta minute if he wanted to.

And that's not a single data point. We've numerous officers (and Commanders) who are homosexual, openly and not, at all levels of the organization. I've known some for thirty years (in CAP), and am pleased that usually it just doesn't matter, since sexual discussions of any variant have no place in the (volunteer) workplace and certainly not with the cadets under our charge. When we've had a rare instance of someone who can't stop focusing on such items, and insists on busting the policies, we counsel, we monitor, and ultimately may separate them.

No drama. No controversy. No name calling, just quiet volunteerism of different stripes, all within existing regs and policies without regard to disability or preferences. That's the key.

"Abby" - best of luck to you. Thanks for being on the team.

R/s
Spam
PS love the screen name. "After 5PM slip brains through slot in door"!





Fester

Quote from: THRAWN on August 22, 2019, 02:25:00 pm
Quote from: Fester on August 22, 2019, 05:09:59 am
I don't have much to add.  If you submit the required documentation to your CC and he sends it up the chain, you just wait for the result.  If he fails to send it up the chain (since he has NO approval or denial authority) then you will have to figure out what your next step is...  the next highest rung in the chain or an IG complaint.  But until you've submitted the necessary documentation, I wouldn't waste your time or energy on worrying about it. 

All that said, much of CAP will not respond as kindly and respectfully as they should.  Much of CAP has no experience in interacting with gay and lesbian members, let alone those who are trans.  With a lack of experience typically comes misunderstanding at best and intolerance at worst.  Be patient with reaction, but do not tolerate any type of discrimination.  And lastly, congratulations on your transition.  And the courage it takes to pursue this journey in your life.  Even today, in 2019, it's not an easy journey.


Kind of a sweeping generalization. Maybe in your neck of the woods, but that's not the case everywhere. Not too long ago, there was a prohibition on gays in the military. Because of that, guess where a lot of people who would not otherwise be able to serve in uniform ended up?


You could be correct.  2 of the 3 Wings I've been a member of were in very conservative states.  So my experience may not be as widespread as I believe.
1stLt, CAP
Squadron CC
Group CPO
Eaker - 1996

Майор Хаткевич

Quote from: Fester on August 22, 2019, 06:46:57 pm
Quote from: THRAWN on August 22, 2019, 02:25:00 pm
Quote from: Fester on August 22, 2019, 05:09:59 am
I don't have much to add.  If you submit the required documentation to your CC and he sends it up the chain, you just wait for the result.  If he fails to send it up the chain (since he has NO approval or denial authority) then you will have to figure out what your next step is...  the next highest rung in the chain or an IG complaint.  But until you've submitted the necessary documentation, I wouldn't waste your time or energy on worrying about it. 

All that said, much of CAP will not respond as kindly and respectfully as they should.  Much of CAP has no experience in interacting with gay and lesbian members, let alone those who are trans.  With a lack of experience typically comes misunderstanding at best and intolerance at worst.  Be patient with reaction, but do not tolerate any type of discrimination.  And lastly, congratulations on your transition.  And the courage it takes to pursue this journey in your life.  Even today, in 2019, it's not an easy journey.


Kind of a sweeping generalization. Maybe in your neck of the woods, but that's not the case everywhere. Not too long ago, there was a prohibition on gays in the military. Because of that, guess where a lot of people who would not otherwise be able to serve in uniform ended up?


You could be correct.  2 of the 3 Wings I've been a member of were in very conservative states.  So my experience may not be as widespread as I believe.



Most likely you served with plenty of LGBT members, they just weren't comfortable being themselves around others.