Chloe / United States
“Being a trans woman openly serving in the US Army through the transgender military ban has proven to be a challenging experience. After growing up in a rural conservative area where LGBT rights were seemingly nonexistent, I left and enlisted in the Army. I spent most of my career in the Infantry and have served multiple deployments including a 2010 tour to Afghanistan where I was struck by an improvised explosive device earning the Purple Heart medal. Following President Obama making the ranks of the US military inclusive to transgender service, I was finally able to serve as my authentic self. In April 2019, President Trump passed a discriminatory ban on transgender service which prevents any trans individuals from joining the US military and serving their country. Further, any service members who are honorably serving will face discharge for identifying as transgender and beginning to transition. Although I have been allowed to continue serving, I do so in a discriminatory environment that deems me unfit for duty, despite my years of service to my country. I hope to continue serving and to be an advocate who can bring positive change for all of the service members that come after me regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Through the trans mil ban, it is extremely difficult for active duty service members to access gender affirming health care through the military’s health insurance. I have surgery scheduled for early 2021 and appreciates help as all costs are out of pocket.