In a story appearing on International Day Against Homophobia (May 17), it appears the Pentagon for the first time has officially recognized transgender service members. The move is being hailed as a breakthrough by the LGBT community, reports The Daily Mail
“The acknowledgement came in the form of a letter to veteran and transgender activist Autumn Sandeen confirming that the Navy had updated its records to show she is a woman.
“While still a long way from open transgender service in the military, OutServe-SLDN, an organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender service members and their families labeled the move ‘symbolic.’
“The letter from the Navy official, dated May 2, read: ‘Per your request the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) has been updated to show your gender as female effective April 12, 2013.’
“Sandeen’s military identification card now reflects the change.
‘The fact that a process exists [to change the gender listed] indicates that there are people in the Department of Defense who are aware of the needs of transgender retirees and who are working to see those needs met,’ OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson told BuzzFeed.
“‘And, in that sense, the significance of this symbolic act for our broader work and for our goal of open service becomes I think a little bit more apparent.'”