Allyson Robinson will continue as the head of OutServe-SLDN, at least for the short term. In a day that was filled with resignations, speculation, and even a few questions as to whether or not this was motivated by transphobia, nothing was certain. Today, we learned little more than Robinson is remaining the head of OS-SLDN through the transition of power.
Robinson issued a statement in which she noted that “this weekend’s events were most unfortunate and deeply troubling for many of us.” Still, she notes that “I am fully and firmly committed to our LGBT service members, veterans, and their families and to their fight for equality.” Some have questioned that as little has been said about pushing for the military to reverse regulations preventing trans*people serving.
Robinson noted that “it is my intent to continue to lead OutServe-SLDN in the near term as we approach an historic moment for our community and our country. After that, at a date to be determined, I have decided of my own accord to step down, and will work with our members to ensure an orderly transition to the next phase of this organization’s life.”
She concluded by saying that “In light of the momentous events the coming days hold for us all, I intend to put this matter behind us and look forward to shifting the focus back to where it belongs: our LGBT service members, veterans, and families, who sacrifice so much every day, and their ongoing fight for full equality.”
Robinson is the first trans*person to serve as the head of an LGBT organization not directly dedicated to transsexuality.
The OS-SLDN Board and staff issued their own statement in which they noted that the are “ in the process of transforming the organization from primarily a legal services organization into a membership services and advocacy organization.”
The statement notes that the email that was obtained by Bill Browning of Bilerico originally was “only part of a series of discussions aimed at transitioning the organization in what has been a rapidly changing financial and political landscape facing the LGBT movement, which will soon include a Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.” The email created a storm of backs and forths which appear to have happened because of a lack of full checking of what was going on.
Attempts to clarify what occurred were met with silence, at least for LezGetReal.
The Board at least admits that “As is the case with many of our partners at this critical time, OS-SLDN is facing real and significant financial obstacles, forcing the Board to look critically at all aspects of its operations and to consider difficult decisions, including cutting costs and staffing reductions.”
Board Co-Chair Josh Seefried said in the statement that “There is no excuse for the series of events that transpired this past weekend. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I sincerely apologize for this as well as the impact it’s had on our staff’s and members’ trust and confidence in the organization. Allyson Robinson has led OutServe-SLDN as one of the most transformational leaders of this movement, and there is not a member serving on this board who does not respect and admire her work for this organization and the LGBT movement.”
Co-Chair April Heinze added that “Allyson has continually put our LGBT service members, veterans, and their families first in the changes the organization has faced since the repeal of DADT. As many in our community know, the LGBT movement is evolving quickly, and so will its institutions. Many people thought that after the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ all the military LGBT organizations would or should disappear. As Allyson Robinson and her staff have so powerfully and effectively reminded the nation, the mission for full equality in our Armed Forces is incomplete.”
Unfortunately, there are still many unanswered questions, and it seems that this mess has a long way to get cleaned up.