Saturday, May 25, 2013

Trans Troops

As a transgender vet, one of my priorities here in Cyrsti's Condo is passing along any transgender related service news I can find.
Much of it comes from OutServe Magazine.

This story from OutServe certainly has a "been there-done it" ring to it.  But in this one Evan Young comes from the different side of the gender fence for most of us trans girls here. You see, Evan is a transgender man in the military:

"Underneath my cover, I walk a straight line, returning salutes as I pass. A sergeant salutes and says, “Good morning, Sir.” A warm glow flushes my cheeks, and I reply, “Good morning!” Closer to work a familiar face draws near and salutes; “Good morning, Ma’am.” A heavy feeling of discontent weighs on me, and I return the salute with the grudging reply, “Good morning.” I am a transgender military officer.

Outside of work, I live my life as a man. Once on post, I am female. My short hair and manly features present an androgynous and confusing appearance. I grew up in Arkansas, and knew that many outsiders perceived women there as “barefoot and pregnant” rednecks. That stereotype drove me to move out of the state and join the Army. I wanted to be on an equal footing with men. I found new confidence along the way as my drive to exceed expectations helped me rise through the ranks. Yet, I always had the feeling of being a second class soldier because of my gender. Males have confidence ingrained in them at an early age. Men are encouraged to stand up for themselves and speak their mind. When they don’t, they are often labeled effeminate or called derogatory terms such as faggot or princess. The “stereotypical male” role is enforced by men as well as women. A woman speaking to a man that seems effeminate will treat him differently."

I have several transgender veteran friends who have wondered with me what life would be like in today's military as a trans person-walking a precarious gender line.

To read more of Evan's insight,  look here.

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A Life in Gender Flux