Bodybuilding: Transgender Navy Petty Officer Wins
Bodybuilding: Transgender Navy Petty Officer Wins
For the Navy petty officer who won a bodybuilding crown Saturday night, there may be a blessing of a subtler sort. It’s that the weekend of his International Association of Trans Bodybuilders triumph occurred after a bruising Supreme Court battle that everyone was still debating Monday morning. Most probably missed the late afternoon Drudge Report link, tucked way down mid-page.
Having had it’s inaugural in 2014, the contest is well attended…
The competition has attracted bodybuilders from across the country and even Russia since it began in 2014, according to executive director and head judge Bucky Motter. Competitors were judged in the categories of lightweight, middleweight, heavyweight and masters, for age 60 and over, according to five disciplines: mass, definition, proportion, symmetry and stage presence.
…apparently due to a lack of other venues.
The competition, in its fifth year, is the only transgender bodybuilding competition in the world
U.S Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Wes Phills, of Brooklyn, New York, who performed his routine to Beyonce’s “Mine” featuring Drake, won the award for overall winner as well as the middleweight class.
Well done, Wes! Bodybuilding is incredibly difficult and takes tons of discipline, whoever and wherever you started out from.
But that’s all there is about him in any story I could find. And, being former active duty myself, I had some questions about him.
Is he active duty? If so, who paid for his transition therapy? If it was the taxpayer, is he getting extra testosterone to beef that musculature up?
(And just a general query about the contest itself – how do you choose a winner when everyone in the contest HAS to be juiced?)
And this is why I said at the beginning his win was lucky to have occurred when all eyes (and foaming mouths) were elsewhere. The transgender issue has slipped from the headlines, due to so many other squirrels cavorting in the Trump outrage basket. But I think this tiny line in a story might have some people saying, “WHUT?”
For starters, has the petty officer missed any deployable days/months due to his transition? There’s a basic issue of fairness at play here. Any other sailor is expected to be able to deploy to meet the needs of the Navy. If you’ve won a bodybuilding contest, one would assume the winner is in the best shape of his life. But transitioned transgenders are never in “good shape,” by the very nature of their transition. They are on life-long drug therapies to keep whatever physical form they’ve chosen in place. If the petty officer stopped taking his testosterone tomorrow, all the mastectomies, muscles and penis reconstructions in the world couldn’t keep his body from reverting to its original female form. He is a ward of the chemical state.
This deployable “fairness” concept has been a focus of Defense Secretary James Mattis from the time he took over the reins at Defense.
Mattis: Deploy-or-get-out rule is about fairness
New rules requiring members of the military to be able to deploy or get out were put in place to ensure fairness in deployment rates, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.
“You’re either deployable, or you need to find something else to do. I’m not going have some people deploying constantly and then other people, who seem to not pay that price, in the U.S. military,” Mattis told reporters Feb. 17 in his first comments on the issue since the new policy was formally introduced.
“If you can’t go overseas [and] carry a combat load, then obviously someone else has got to go. I want this spread fairly and expertly across the force.”
Under new rules first reported on by Military Times, military members who have been non-deployable for the past 12 months or more will be separated from the military.
Approximately 11 percent, or 235,000, of the 2.1 million personnel serving on active duty, in the reserves or National Guard are currently non-deployable, Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford, told Military Times earlier this month.
The issue is compounded when transitioning service members are thrown into the mix. Remember – transitioning is a VOLUNTARY act. You didn’t hurt your leg running from the enemy, you aren’t pregnant and available two months after giving birth, etc. You have voluntarily decided to undergo radical surgeries, and commit to a lifetime of drug therapies and counseling. A screw-up in any of which renders you undeployable after the already extensive time spent away from your unit – which means someone else is covering for your absence – while in the transition phase.
“The Obama transgender policy, which was implemented without input from Members of Congress, is ill-conceived and contrary to our goals of increasing troop readiness and investing defense dollars into addressing budget shortfalls of the past,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “By recruiting and allowing transgender individuals to serve in our military we are subjecting taxpayers to high medical costs including up to $130,000 per transition surgery, lifetime hormone treatments, and additional surgeries to address the high percentage of individuals who experience complications,” added Hartzler. She noted surgeries alone could cost $1.35 billion over the next 10 years. For perspective, examples of other things the DoD could spend $1.35 billion on include 13 F-35’s, 14 Super Hornet F-18’s, 2 B-21 long-range strike bombers, 8 KC-46’s, all A-10 wing replacements or increased end strength of our troops.
“This policy is costly and a threat to our readiness. The deployability of individuals going through the sex transition process is highly problematic, requiring 210 to 238 work days where a soldier is non-deployable after surgery. This recovery time equates to 1.4 million manpower days where transgender personnel cannot deploy and fight our nation’s wars, therefore relying on an already stressed force to pick up the burden. It makes no sense to purposely recruit individuals who cannot serve. Transgendered individuals undergoing treatment are not eligible for special duties like flying status, personnel reliability program, and jobs requiring certain Security Clearances.”
“This is also an issue of fairness. Currently we refuse entrance into our armed forces for lesser physical issues, such as flat feet, bunions, asthma, and sleep walking. I had a constituent denied entrance into the JAG program because she had a bunion, yet accession standards are set to be modified to allow transgendered individuals into a military where they will be unable to fully serve. This is a senseless and highly unfair double standard.”
So it’s fair to ask – while taking absolutely nothing from him for his achievement – if this petty officer has plenty of time in the gym, because he can’t be on a ship in the middle of the Mediterranean.
The “fairness” concept, coupled with meeting manpower needs of the military, has transgender advocates confused, and harassing DoD leadership to continue the interrupted social experimenting. For a live action taste of the conflict, here’s one encounter:
She comes out badly, no?
My questions concerning the petty officer’s bodybuilding aren’t intended to be mean-spirited, but honest, in regards to the needs of the military. Is he fufilling his end of the contract, with no stipulations or special favors?
As I said in another piece on the subject:
Of course there are the few exceptional individuals who can do it. Who aren’t the drag: like someday there will be a female who makes it through the REAL Infantry Officer’s Course (not a standards lowered one). But that doesn’t speak to the larger entity, to the collective that HAS to be maintained. And that one-off changes nothing, truthfully. It can’t. You have to carry your load most all the time. And not make anyone else’s heavier because you are needy (You also have to be prepared for unvarnished truth from your fellows if you do slack, and people want their feelings protected these days, deserved or otherwise). Don’t quote SEALs at me who are now “female” and squawk at the president, when she was a HE when all the heroics went down and would never BE a SEAL were she a “she” originally. It’s now just his opinion. He’s no moral authority as a transgender because he did none of it AS a she. Glad you were on the Bin Laden raid, dude. Did you do it in drag and on hormones? No? Then STFU.
I can wish the petty officer well, offer him congratulations on his win, and am still free to wonder who really paid the freight.
Feature Photo Credit: David Goldman / AP