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Top US Navy Admiral Michael Gilday has come to the defense of a non-binary sailor who came under fire from some Republican politicians. The sailor, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, has been serving in the Navy for almost 10 years under their birth-assigned gender.
The sailor in question came out as non-binary earlier this year and requested to be referred to by their preferred pronouns. This request was initially granted, but it was later rescinded, and the sailor was instructed to use the pronouns associated with their biological sex. This prompted outrage from LGBT activists and caused a backlash among some Republican politicians who accused the Navy of “pandering to political correctness.”
However, Admiral Gilday has defended the sailor’s right to use their preferred pronouns and emphasized the Navy’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. In a statement released last week, Gilday said, “As sailors, we are committed to treating every person with dignity and respect. This includes recognizing and honoring their preferred pronouns.”
Gilday also addressed the criticism from Republican politicians, saying, “I understand that some people may not agree with this decision, but I want to be clear that our policies are grounded in the Navy’s core values of honor, courage, and commitment.”
This controversy highlights the ongoing debate about gender identity and pronouns in the military. While the Department of Defense has made progress in recognizing transgender individuals and accommodating their needs, there is still significant resistance from some quarters.
However, the Navy’s policy on gender identity is clear. According to their guidelines, “Sailors may self-identify their gender in all administrative, medical, and legal documents and will not be required to provide evidence of surgery or hormone therapy.”
This policy is in line with best practices for inclusivity and recognizes that gender is more complex than the traditional binary categories of male and female. By allowing individuals to self-identify their gender and use their preferred pronouns, the Navy is sending a message of acceptance and respect.
Furthermore, denying an individual’s request to use their preferred pronouns is not only disrespectful, but it can also be harmful to their mental health. Non-binary individuals are already marginalized and stigmatized in society, and being misgendered can be a trigger for anxiety and depression.
In light of this, it is important for the Navy and other institutions to create an environment that is welcoming and supportive of all gender identities. This includes not only allowing individuals to use their preferred pronouns but also providing education and training on gender diversity and sensitivity.
In conclusion, Admiral Gilday’s defense of the non-binary sailor is a welcome acknowledgement of the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the military. By recognizing and respecting individuals’ preferred pronouns and gender identities, the Navy is sending a message that everyone has a place in the armed forces, regardless of their gender expression. We hope that other institutions will follow the Navy’s lead and create environments that are inclusive and supportive for all.