Trans Veteran’s Discharge Highlights Need for Equality (VIDEO)
A transgender Army National Guard soldier discharged from the military just before the repeal of the military’s open service ban on gay personnel has spoken out to raise awareness that trans servicemembers continue to suffer under a discriminatory military climate and that trans rights as a whole continue to be largely ignored.
Staff Sergeant Rebecca Grant, who originally enlisted as male but began transitioning to female a couple of years ago, has spent over 10 years in the military and during that time toured in Bosnia and Iraq.
Despite having been highly praised and rewarded for her service, when a fellow soldier outed her as transgender in 2010 — one assumes that like so many trans servicemembers, Grant had remained closeted until this time — she faced poor treatment and harassment from fellow soldiers. Despite moving base and switching roles in the army so that she could better cope with the stress this had caused, Grant was found unfit to serve earlier this year and was discharged.
In the video below you can hear Grant talk about her service and the prejudice and harassment she faced when her trans identity became common knowledge.
The U.S. military classes transgender people and those with gender identity disorder as unfit to serve.
Around eight U.S. allies do, however, allow trans members to serve including the United Kingdom.