Author Topic: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans  (Read 3284 times)

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Offline BeverlyAnn

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An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« on: November 30, 2015, 10:20:34 pm »
stephaniec posted an article about a trans woman who survived war, PTSD and transphobia.  One noticeable statistic in the article was UCLA estimates 21% of transgender adults in the U.S. are veterans compared to estimates of <10% to 13% of all adults having served.  Basically, we are almost twice as likely to have seen military service as people who are not gender gifted.  That got me to thinking why that big a spread in numbers. 

So why did you join the military?

I confess I had two reasons.  I was just before my 19th birthday and I knew I was soon going to get that letter saying, "Congratulations, you have won an all expense paid tour of Southeast Asia."  I was working for an airline at the time so I wanted aviation which really meant Navy or Air Force.  One advantage to the Navy was ships with all those men! ;)

My second and biggest reason was I was convinced boot camp would cure me of these feelings I should have been female.  Remember, that was 1968 and I didn't know any better. 
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. - Oscar Wilde




Offline Nicole Wilson

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2015, 10:51:17 pm »
I am a veteran, i had wanted to serve since i was knee high to a grasshopper, but keep my true self hidden while in plus i was able to escape my step parents  who refused that the fact that i  female on th inside.  have not talk to or seen them since 1999,   but i would have served in any form to begin with, one of the hardest things for me was hiding the fact i dressed under my bdu's and dcu's while state side and in Iraq .

Offline Katiepie

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 12:37:33 am »
My direct reason at the time was "why not?"
A little more on this... I was working a retail job about 7 months in. I was bored with life, all I would do is work, go home, play video games, be on the internet, eat, sleep, wake up, and do it all over again. Life was going no where, I had a retail job in which was going nowhere, basically dead end, even though at my 6 month mark I was promoted, it was a 9-5 style job, just a little earlier in the morning, Sunday and Monday off. Minimum wage, never doing anything. I had no aspirations of going back to school at the time. Didn't have a car (was always catching rides to and from work), no real responsibilities.
Life was boring, other than the fact I was showing signs thereof where I am now. Had a female persona online, in games, and game forums since late 2003.

At the time it was simply cause I could sign up, and just go. Thinking back to it, I was essentially running away from myself, away from the monotony of an exterior life at a stasis, and an online life just eating away at me, being consumed by the electronic prison in which captivated the true me.

Kate <3
My life motto: Wake Up and BE Awesome!

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Stay true to yourself no matter the consequence, for this is your life, your decision, your trust in which will shape your future. Believe in yourself, if you don't then no one will.

Jessie Ann

Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2015, 01:46:17 am »
To pay for my education.  Army ROTC for 2 years undergraduate and Army National Guard for law school and for 6 years after.  Allowed be to become a lawyer almost debt free and my student loans were all paid off within 5 years of graduating law school.

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2015, 04:19:10 am »
I'm happy to say I never joined the army - closest I've ever been to that sort of thing is playing Airsoft / Paintball with my friends (still have my modified replica M4 with M203 underslung grenade launcher :)  The M4 spits out BBs at around 230fps, which is pretty close to the max limit of what most airsoft sites will allow lol :P).

It doesn't surprise me that trans women would take part in "extremely masculine" things like joining the army at a higher rate than the general populous as a misguided attempt to "man up" and get rid of the feminine side of us.  I mean heck, my reasons for getting involved in things like airsoft and paintball were pretty much the same lol :P  It also doesn't surprise me that this never seems to work (at least not in the long term) - testament to the fact that this is not a part of ourselves that can be changed like conservative thinkers incorrectly believe.
*Hugs*
"You never find the path to your true self, but rather - you find your true self along the path"

Offline Deborah

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2015, 05:28:33 am »
There were a few reasons that all contributed too it.

I got sent to a military school when I was 13.  There was more than one reason for that too but one was that my parents thought it would cure me.

My father was 30 years military so growing up that's all I knew. 

It let me go to a good college 100% paid by the government.

The retirement benefits are very good.

Getting to travel and live all over the world was a great adventure.

Once I was in I tried to pick the most challenging and "macho" jobs.  Looking back, there was a a lot of subconscious thinking going on but there was a turning point for me when I was 12 and was confronted by my parents about crossdressing/trans.  That was really unpleasant but it made me driven to continually prove myself.  Before that I was kind of shy and withdrawn, poor at sports, average in school, picked on, and awkward.  After I got sent away I reinvented myself and became the complete opposite in all those things.  I became a living avatar.

So, on the outside at least I guess that my parents thought they did cure me.  But all they really did was bury me.  I stayed buried in that dark cold box until I couldn't stay there any longer.  One thing though is that through it all I wasn't ever under any illusion that I had changed or that I was cured.  I always knew exactly who and what I was and while I never hated myself or was ashamed I did live in deathly fear of the consequences of becoming real.  That my parents were successful in putting into me.  I thought I could live with that and for a long time I could.  But the time came where I couldn't any longer.

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2015, 07:49:07 am »
Joining the Air Force was a convenient conjunction of it being the "government flying club" and a way to pay for my university. 

I also had a vague idea that it would "do me some good", though my dysphoria at that time was sufficiently vague that I had no idea what good it would do me.  Probably something along the lines of making me acceptably male in other people's eyes, or maybe my own, but it wasn't nearly as focused as it sounds.  Yeah, like that was going to work!    ::)

I didn't like all the military BS, but I sure did like the flying!
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change; 2019-02-15 Approval for GRS; 2019-08-02 Official gender change; 2020-03-11 GRS!; 2020-09-30 New birth certificate; 2021-03-10 consultation for ongoing pain




Offline Deborah

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2015, 08:25:29 am »
I didn't like all the military BS, but I sure did like the flying!
That's what I wanted to do.  Join the Air Force and fly.  But I found that wearing thick glasses and being an Air Force pilot were mutually exclusive things.  So I settled for the Army, became a paratrooper, and flew a lot anyway.  Only it was in the back instead of in the front LOL.

Offline TG CLare

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2015, 12:10:07 pm »
Both of my grandfathers were in the Royal Navy during WW I. In WW II my father served with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and in the 50's my uncle made a career with the Royal Air Force.

As long as I can recall, I always wanted to join the military, sort of a family tradition I suppose, but I ended up with the army for some reason. Go figure, huh?

Love,
Clare
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Offline Joi

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2015, 12:39:54 pm »
As I recall it, I tried to get into college, but wasn't accepted. Probably because I never test well and my SAT scores weren't exactly through the roof.  I was the oldest of 10 still at home with 8 siblings.  Had to go somewhere.  It was either the Peace Corps or the USMC.  Chose USMC.  My dysphoria at that time was intermittent. I just knew it was there and I couldn't talk about it anyone so I would just dwell on it when it flared up and then move on until the next time it decided to visit.  Made it through boot camp, infantry regiment training and them on to Aviation tech school.  Well guess who decided to re-appear after 7 mos. Ms. Gender  Dysphoria.  She came back with a fury and I knew that I had to talk to someone about this or go nuts.  Being a good Catholic, I talked to a priest in the confessional.  Big mistake!  I knew about the sanctity of the confessional, but I guess he missed that class.  It wasn't long before I was called before the CO.
Doesn't take much of an imagination to guess want came next.  This was in 1967.



kittenpower

Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2015, 12:50:48 pm »
I joined because I wanted to get away from a bad home environment, I wasn't ready to go to college, I wanted the education benefits, they offered me a 5k signing bonus, and I wanted to travel and be on my own and make my own decisions (my parents were extremely controlling).

Offline Devlyn

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2015, 12:56:25 pm »
Joined, served, got out, worked a couple decades, then realized there was a girl inside me. Service and transgender never collided with me.

Hugs, Devlyn
Veteran, US Army

Offline Robyn37

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2015, 01:59:15 pm »
My first year of college was pretty much a lot of partying and substance abuse, a big part of which was to escape my feelings. I joined the navy to be a SEAL figuring I would figure things out while testing myself physically and mentally, or at least die in combat knowing I would never have to deal with my feelings and nobody would ever have to know. Because my rating I signed up for was needed more than SEALS at the time, I had a different job.

It was difficult, but after 8 years of service I now get to enjoy the benefits of the GI Bill, VA Loan, and VA healthcare to help me have a pretty stress free transition. I would not have the opportunities I have now without having served, and I don't regret my decision.
Being transgender does not give anyone a free pass or a hand out… we just want a fair shake and an opportunity as any AMERICAN and that is the freedom and LIBERTY that I fought for and defended.
                                                                   Kristen Beck, US Navy SEAL(ret)

Offline Tessa James

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2015, 02:26:21 pm »
I was a homeless 17 yo with few options in 1968.  I signed up.  I also confess to falling for the stupidity that suggests warfare can somehow make one a man or a hero.  What a load of bull.  I suspect many of us were trying that out or perhaps overcompensating maybe??  I did meet my first adult boyfriends in the army:-)

I am annoyed by those who suggest every veteran is a hero.  Many of us participated in illegal and immoral acts, invasions and the killing of people of nations we could not find on a map.  I personally witnessed atrocities in Vietnam and Cambodia in the name of fighting communist aggression.  Who are the next targets?  Syrians?  Now tell me again, who are the terrorists?  What group of people are the most feared invaders on this planet hmmm?

War leads to more war.  We vets know better.  Give peace a chance!
Open, out and evolving queer trans person forever with HRT support since March 13, 2013

kittenpower

Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2015, 05:58:32 pm »
I was a homeless 17 yo with few options in 1968.  I signed up.  I also confess to falling for the stupidity that suggests warfare can somehow make one a man or a hero.  What a load of bull.  I suspect many of us were trying that out or perhaps overcompensating maybe??  I did meet my first adult boyfriends in the army:-)

I am annoyed by those who suggest every veteran is a hero.  Many of us participated in illegal and immoral acts, invasions and the killing of people of nations we could not find on a map.  I personally witnessed atrocities in Vietnam and Cambodia in the name of fighting communist aggression.  Who are the next targets?  Syrians?  Now tell me again, who are the terrorists?  What group of people are the most feared invaders on this planet hmmm?

War leads to more war.  We vets know better.  Give peace a chance!
We all know that war involves killing people, therefore, war is an atrocity, but unfortunately there are evil people that make it unavoidable. I do think that our soldiers who enlist on their own, out of a sense of duty to our country, to protect their friends and family, our own citizens, and people throughout the world, are indeed heroes. 

Offline Devlyn

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2015, 06:05:45 pm »
I humbly accept your compliment!  ::) 


Let's not make this a war/anti war thread, you can
start one of those in the Political section.

The question asked here is:

So why did you join the military?
Veteran, US Army

Offline stephaniec

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2015, 06:20:30 pm »
I was lucky I won the Lottery

Offline Beth Andrea

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2015, 06:56:16 pm »
A sense of duty to the country...although I grew up amongst "long haired freaky people", my family was more midwest farmer types....we were " 'Murica!" before it was a popular phrase.

Also, having been raised on war stories, "playing Army", etc I felt I needed to prove to myself that I could serve as well as anyone. Nothing fancy, just turned wrenches in Idaho.
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Offline diane 2606

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2015, 08:35:48 pm »
I joined the Army in 1966, just as Vietnam was starting to get interesting (thanks, Lyndon). I figured I could cure myself of my lifelong desire, compulsion, whatever if I became an assault rifle-toting paratrooper with 101st Airborne, walking the jungle. So I did.

In 1995 I was in an audience Phyllis Frye was addressing. She asked for a show of hands of veterans and Eagle scouts. More than half of us raised our hands. The drive to *cure* ourselves is strong, despite the fact it doesn't work.
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Offline JLT1

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Re: An interesting statistic-transgender veterans
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2015, 01:55:48 pm »
I needed the money for college.  I liked boats and water so into the Navy I went.  Three years later I was out.

Jen
To move forward is to leave behind that which has become dear. It is a call into the wild, into becoming someone currently unknown to us. For most, it is a call too frightening and too challenging to heed. For some, it is a call to be more than we were capable of being, both now and in the future.

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