Today is Memorial Day, in which we celebrate all of our fellow Americans who served in the armed forces to defend this nation and protect the freedoms we enjoy, and memorialize those who gave their lives in doing so.
I also need to point out as the Transgender American Veterans Association does on a regular basis that some of those Americans who proudly served our country in its various military branches are trans.
Christine Jorgenson, one of our pioneering trans women was a World War II vet who served in the Army.
During my time in this community I have had the pleasure to meet trans people who served in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines and the Coast Guard. I’ve met people who fought in the Korean War, Vietnam and the first Gulf War, and have no doubts that during my future community travels and conversations I will eventually run into Iraq and Afghanistan vets.
Some of the people I met were people who did specialized duty such as Tunnel Rats, Navy Seals, aviators, submariners, guarded nuke weapons depots, and some who can’t even talk at length about what they did in their service days because it’s still classified. But the point is they served this nation proudly and to the best of their ability.
The repeal of DADT only worked for the GLB segment of the community. It doesn’t allow trans people to serve openly and be their true selves while wearing our country’s uniform unlike what transpeople can do in six nations on this planet. We can still be kicked out of the US military for being trans.
That’s bull feces and it’s why TAVA and myself are still pushing for the military to end the restrictions on transgender people openly serving in our country’s military. We have just as much right as any other American to fight and potentially die for our country.
But on this Memorial Day, let’s once again take time to honor and contemplate all who have served, all who have died in service to our country and join the rest of our nation in observing a moment of silence at 12:01 PM EDT in honor of our fallen heroes and sheroes.
As we do so, let’s also consider the fact there is a segment of the American family in the trans community who wish to like everyone else in this country want and need the opportunity to serve our country openly and proudly.