To Serve or Not to Serve?
Severe discrimination has demeaned an already misunderstood population with an uncertain future. Many Americans agree that veterans and active service members should be treated with the upmost respect. Many would also agree they should receive the benefits they rightfully deserve for honorably serving their nation. But what about military personnel that identify with a gender different from the one assigned at birth?
For decades, transgender service members have been discriminated against, unjustly discharged from active duty and denied basic human rights such as access to healthcare. A series of three tweets on July 26, 2017 sparked the continuation of discriminatory military policy. Under a new presidential administration and a country characterized by the most divisive political landscape in decades, we are living in dynamic, complex times with high stakes for everyone: civilian or military, cisgender or transgender. Today, more than ever, we must listen, learn, and most importantly take action for our troops. They've fought for our freedom. Now, we must fight for theirs. It is time to TranStand.
Regina Haege is third generation military, spending kindergarten in Okinawa and enlisting in the U.S. Navy at age 17 in 1982. She is a grandfather, college student, and aspiring counselor specializing in helping LGBTQ youth.
U.S. Navy veteran Chrissa Ferrell served one year after 9/11 in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She is a loving wife and proud mother of seven children.
Twelve-year U.S. Air Force veteran and LGBTQ advocate Shannon Scott serves on the board of directors for the Human Rights Campaign fighting for civil rights.