T ransgender A merican
V eterans A ssociation
06 March 2003
TAVA Members, this concerns the press release from the New York Times about the pending promotion of Gen. Robert Clark. He was the Commander of Ft. Campbell when PFC Barry Winchell was murdered. For those who may not recall this, PFC Winchell was killed because he was preceived as being gay. There was no true evidence he actually identified as being gay, but we do know he was dating a very pretty transsexual by the name of Calpernia Adams. At this point in time, it doesn't matter why Winchell was murdered. Gen Clark's handling of the incident, his treatment of Calpernia's and Winchell's mothers was appaling. His handling of the entire issue, from his apparent condoning of gay bashing on the base to his comments about the trial of the two men accused of the murder was not the kind of responses that should be allowed in our military. This is one of the core reasons TAVA was founded. Please read the press release "Hearing..." and then there is a great comment and good suggestions below from Vanessa Foster, the Chair of NTAC. I fully agree with what she said. Maybe we can make a difference. Thank you.
From Vanessa Foster:
Is this going before the full Senate or simply a committee? What I might suggest, to TAVA as well as every other group and individual in the transgender community, is to flood the Senate via Emails (and faxes if folks can afford) letting Senators know we're watching this vote and strongly oppose the nomination.
Another thing that might help is if we all add just one aspect of the death of Barry Winchell (i.e. one write about the horrible treatment of Barry's family, one write about the Gen.'s treatment of Calpernia during this, one write about the lack of addressing the situation re: Barry's harrassment, etc.) in our letters and Emails of opposition. This will make it appear to (a), not look like a form letter being spammed and (b), bring up all of the various aspects of what Gen. Clark did poorly, i.e. building a case of why Gen. Clark should not be rewarded with a promotion for his acts and inactions.