And in light of voices of support for such a move by congressional Republicans, feebly and disingenously cloaked as a cost-saving measure for medical costs…
And in light of Christian political groups seizing on the issue to foment fear and hatred of transgender people…
And in light of mainstream media coverage that frames these issues as a reaction to Democratic “culture wars” and “identity politics” (how come transgender civil rights are “identity politics” while endless coverage of the forgotten, white male Midwestern factory worker is just “news?”)…
I decided not to write about all the reasons these people are wrong-headed and ignorant and basically akin to a rusted drain pipe spewing chemical waste into our drinking water. Instead, I wanted to share some stories. Some real life stories about transgender people serving in the military.
I don’t have personal stories. I retrieved these from various media. And at the risk of belaboring what’s probably an obvious point, I chose stories about servicemen and women because that’s been the national conversation this week. Obviously, every transgender person — military or otherwise — has a valuable story to be told, and their legal status is fragile across many contexts. We need to tell and listen to transgender stories every day, not just when they are under attack by our government, though probably, especially so then. That’s what I’m getting at.
Oh, and I do have one personal story. I’m reading Daniel Heath Justice’s “Indigenous fantasy epic” The Way of Thorn and Thunder, and it includes non-binary gendered characters, refered to as zhe and hir. I haven’t come by a lot of transgender fantasy fiction, but that’s something I’m making a priority to read more of.
So here are some transgender military stories I really like. The fight to realize human rights continues!
From Buzzfeed: The First Out Transgender Active Duty U.S. Army Officer
This short documentary shares the challenges of a transgender military couple, who are banned from serving openly.
DALLAS – A transgender couple with North Texas ties who’ve both served their country say they’re unnerved by President Trump’s call to ban transgender service members. Laila Ireland served the Army for 12 years. Her husband Logan is a Staff Sergeant, active duty with the Air Force, and a stream of tweets from the Commander in Chief put all their dreams in jeopardy.
An estimated 15,000 transgender troops currently serve in the U.S. military. Each has risked dismissal from military service for revealing their identity. Directors Gillian Laub and Shaul Schwarz follow the stories of Maya Martinez, Landon Wilson, and Jamie Ewing.