Transgender activist and former Human Rights Campaign staffer Allyson Robinson has been named as the head of the recently merged OutServe-SLDN. Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:
[H]er selection represents a huge breakthrough for a community that has received a level of respect in recent years but still faces overwhelming discrimination and high rates of violence, according to recent surveys by LGBT organizations. Following the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” however, she now faces the unusual challenge of persuading activist and donors that, in spite of that victory, the cause still needs their help. “We disentangled America from this legalized discrimination against gay and lesbian servicemembers,” Robinson said, acknowledging that the key aim of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network since its founding in 1993 was reached with the September 2011 repeal of the law.The case she will make is the one that SLDN and OutServe, formed in 2010, have been making since the repeal: Troubling issues remain when it comes to LGBT military service. In addition to benefits issues for same-sex couples, open service for transgender people, whose own sense of their gender does not match the sex with which they were born, was not addressed in the repeal of the 1993 ban on open service and remains a reason to be discharged from the military today.