Many in the trans community had a hard time coming to terms with the idea that adding other requirements to the repeal of DADT, such as open trans service, was not really the same fight. As Allyson also was transgender, I had presumed that she would have the same opinion.
National organizations that are structured more like campaigns, or that serve one particular community or cause, along with the legal organizations and the research organizations, have been increasingly effective relative to the multi-issue organizations. The question is why.
The challenges LGBT people face in America won't simply dematerialize as we achieve each new policy objective. Passing good laws and enacting good policies is hard work, but changing culture is much harder.
By exposing its challenges, OutServe-SLDN, the association of LGBT military personnel, veterans, and their families, figured out a way to reinvigorate its mission -- and thus may have revealed the way forward for the larger LGBT movement as more and more of our legal objectives are achieved.
History was made last week with the appointment of Allyson Robinson to serve as the executive director of the newly united OutServe-SLDN (Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) organization. What was historic about it? That Allyson Robinson happens to be a trans woman.
More than 14,000 servicemembers have been dismissed under DADT since 1993. These represent lost careers, lost contributions to our country's safety and people hurt who wanted nothing more than to serve our nation.