I'm queer and I served under Don't Ask, Don't Tell. If you got caught, if someone reported you-- you didn't get a court date, you got a
separation date. They gave you a general discharge (instead of an honorable one,) usually on a Section 8: "mentally unfit for service." This
meant you never qualified for veteran benefits of any kind: no VA service, no grants or scholarships as a veteran, no veteran housing
assistance, nothing. And it was on your transcripts forever: GENERAL DISCHARGE, MENTALLY UNFIT FOR SERVICE. Imagine what that does when you
have to apply for civilian employment. So you joined the military because you were patriotic, or because you wanted to learn a career, or
you were poor and wanted to get the GI Bill, or because you truly, genuinely believed that you were working in service to the American
people and to the ideals of creating a more perfect union. But if you were queer, they sectioned you out and stained you for life. I cried
at Pride a few years ago, when I saw those out and proud servicepeople marching in the parade. We had come so far, THEY had come so far, and
it healed in me the hurt I held in my heart from being sectioned out under DADA. Today's pronouncement from Trump cuts a new wound, deeper
because it sets us BACK. We aren't moving forward; we're moving back to shame and censure and erasure from public life and public service.
Tens of thousands of transgender servicepeople are now on the verge of being separated from their service. Some may lose pensions, many will
lose the GI Bill. All will be marked GENERAL DISCHARGE, MENTALLY UNFIT FOR SERVICE. But I hope that they will have the strength to tell the
speak the truth of their unjust discharge, because I never did. Not until today; I always told people that I got hurt. Which I did, but it
would have healed. But I was never going to stop being queer, and somebody asked-- and somebody told. Support your #transServicepeople. What
comes next could be unimaginable. #LamdaLegal #ACLU #TransRightsAreHumanRights

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More from @SaundraMitchell

Apr 3, 2018
Okay, let me tell you about Pitch Wars and fees. I grew up poor. P-O-O-R, living in government housing, poor. My family is intergenerationally poor, which is a real fancy way of saying we been poor as dirt since we ran away from the Potato Famine.
We have 0 (ZERO) college graduates. We do have some union plumbers. But most of us have worked service industry jobs and scraped by and made do. I joined the Army to try to break that cycle of poverty. We didn't have the money for college, and I was afraid of loans.
(Borrowing money against money that doesn't even exist yet is fscking terrifying when you're poor.) So, no college for me. I got kicked out of the Army for being queer, and came back to my poor ass life with no prospects. I got a job at the same cafeteria where my aunt & grandma
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