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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Upcoming event focuses on trans military service
2014-06-25

This article shared 3000 times since Wed Jun 25, 2014
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"We Have Waited Long Enough: Open Transgender Service in the U.S. Military," a discussion with Aaron Belkin of The Palm Center, will take place Wed., Aug. 20, 6-8 p.m. at The Keith House, 1900 S. Prairie Ave., Chicago.

After Belkin's talk there will be a book-signing by Diane and Jacob Anderson-Minshall, authors of Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders.

Windy City Times newspaper is hosting, and the event is free; however, RSVP to editor@windycitymediagroup.com .

President Obama made history this year when the White House said it is open to a review of Pentagon policies banning transgender troops from serving. In the history of the republic, no president has ever signaled a willingness to consider transgender military service. "When we win ( and we will win ), we will look back on the White House statement as the the beginning of the end of the ban," Belkin said. But what will it take to cross the finish line, to convert the President's general openness to reconsidering discriminatory policy into actual political change? Come discuss the prospects for change with some of the participants in process.

Belkin is a professor, author, activist and dancer. Since 1999, Belkin has served as founding director of the Palm Center, which The Advocate named as one of the most effective LGBT rights organizations in the nation. He designed and implemented much of the public education campaign that eroded popular support for military anti-gay discrimination, and when "don't ask, don't tell" was repealed, the president of the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund observedthat, "this day never would have arrived ( or it would have been a much longer wait ) without the persistent, grinding work of the Michael Palm Center." Harvard Law Professor Janet Halley said of Belkin that, "Probably no single person deserves more credit for the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell.'" Currently, the Palm Center is engaged in a long-term initiative to address transgender military service.

As a bonus, there is also a book-signing after Belkin's talk. Imagine if, after 15 years as a lesbian couple, your partner turned to you and said, "I think I'm really a man." For Diane and Jacob ( nee Suzy ) Anderson-Minshall this isn't a hypothetical question. It's what really happened. Eight years later, the couple not only remains together, they still identify as queer, still work in LGBT media, and remain part of the LGBT community. They paint a portrait of love, not only to each other, but to the San Francisco Bay Area, LGBT publishing, and the queer community. Queerly Beloved is a love story that flies in the face of expectations and raises questions about the true nature of identity, sexuality, and love.

—From a press release


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