Author Topic: Why do many trans women serve in the military?  (Read 2446 times)

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Sebby Michelango

Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« on: June 10, 2016, 02:01:06 pm »
I have a question. Why do many trans women join the military? I have watched a lot of YouTube transistion timeline videos. Something a few trans women have in common is they joined the military. I understand people likes difference things etc. But I wondered, because I have heard several trans-veteran histories. I have read about both trans women and trans men joining the military, but many of the trans women are pre-transistion. The trans men in the military that I have heard about have transistion in some way, either medical or socially. The trans women I have heard about who joined the military was mostly pre-transistion. Most of them hasn't come out of the closet yet either.

Thanks for answer. :)

Offline cheryl reeves

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2016, 02:30:37 pm »
 I joined to prove I could be a man in a man's world,besides I had fun even though I never made it out of basic. The other guys stayed away from me for even though I looked scrawny I was meaner then the bully we had..Yrs I even found bullies in the army and they didn't like me but kept their distance which upset the drill sergeants for we had division in our platoon.

Offline Megan.

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2016, 03:02:58 pm »
If I hadn't been hugely overweight I might have joined too, thought about it many times.

Online Deborah

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Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2016, 03:19:22 pm »
There were a few reasons.

1. It was a family thing.
2. I wanted to go to the Military Academy.
3. I wanted to prove myself.

For #3, I did prove myself by joining every hard thing I could.  So I was in the Infantry and was a Ranger and a Paratrooper.   I would have tried to get in Special Forces but my vision disqualified me.

I had a lot of fun with it all and don't regret it.  However, even after proving myself it didn't change anything about being trans.


Sapere Aude
Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being....  - Dan Barker

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Offline BeverlyAnn

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2016, 03:39:44 pm »
Two or three reasons really.  One was I come from a military family.  I think the only major scrap my family missed since 1776 was the War of 1812.  Second, I enlisted in the Navy because I grew up around the Army, wanted aviation and did not want to win an all expense paid tour of beautiful Southeast Asia.  Most of all, in the 1960s knowing nothing about transgender, I hoped boot camp and the military might "cure" me.

It is kind of curious though that overall around 21% of transgender people serve in the military compared to around 9-10% of the population as a whole.  And when you limit it to just trans women, it rises to around 30%. 
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. - Oscar Wilde




Offline CarlyMcx

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2016, 03:43:19 pm »
I tried to join the air force.  Got bounced for sleep walking.  But my take on serving in the military is, if you ever mention it afterward, no one will ever question your manhood again (especially if they did not serve) so it is a great way to prove your manhood.

Aside from that, if you need to escape a bad small town environment at the end of high school, the military provides the perfect no cost escape.  It is just a really good place to hide from the rest of society.

It also makes job hunts a lot easier.   Once you have the military and an honorable discharge on your resume, you have an automatic in with any interviewer who is also ex military.  There is an old, but true joke about that:

Navy forklift driver applies for a job at a soda bottling company.  Interviewer says, "You have have a delicate touch with a forklift around here, since you are moving glass bottles.  What did you move in the navy?"

The applicant said, "Bombs."  He got the job.

Offline Phlox1

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2016, 04:59:45 pm »
I'm old enough that I got drafted.  I was lucky and didn't get shipped overseas.

Offline Michelle_P

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2016, 07:19:13 pm »
I was in the Navy, taking on some fairly dangerous tasks.   I saw it as a way to get away from home, get an education and job skills, and be a real man.  (I blame testosterone poisoning.  I had delayed onset of puberty, powered by injections of T, and this was within a couple of years of the last shot.). I didn't know my true nature at the time, but I think part of the motivation was to prove that I was a manly man, not the sissy boy punching bag from school.

I had tried college, but I managed to sabotage myself to the point I ran out of money before I got the degree.  I understand now that the self-sabotage and self-doubt had origins deep within my internal conflict over gender.  The military service did actually help, as I got some self-confidence from it and found I had the inner strength to plow through any obstacles I threw up against myself. 

Of course, that also meant that I could do a really good job of repressing obstacles like my true nature, which was not a great idea in the long run.
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Offline Dee Marshall

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2016, 08:14:27 pm »
I was never in the military although I did consider it. (A once in a lifetime opportunity came along instead.) I think part of it, also, is the tendency for trans women, even unknowing ones, to gravitate towards dangerous hobbies and careers. Death wish? Adrenaline junkie? I have no idea.
April 22, 2015, the day of my first face to face pass in gender neutral clothes and no makeup. It may be months to the next one, but I'm good with that!

Being transgender is just a phase. It hardly ever starts before conception and always ends promptly at death.

They say the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. I say, climb aboard!

Online Deborah

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2016, 08:52:38 pm »
Adrenaline junkie.  I had forgotten about that.  I was guilty of that for a long time although not so much anymore.


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Offline judithlynn

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2016, 09:15:40 pm »
An interesting thread.
Well I did it because I came from a long line of Military Men , it was expected of me and as my father and grandfather stated, " it was to make a man of me". " Its time you hardened up son"  I remember my father saying. So for me it was the Corps of Engineers, followed by the Parachute Regiment - 1 Para then the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst(West Point equivalent).

I even was a Policeman for a period  in the United kingdom. All part of being and being seen to deliver on the macho image. Of course it never succeeded of making a man in me , as basically there was always a woman crying - let me out. I want to be the real me.
Judith Lynn
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 12:32:21 am by judithlynn »
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Offline BeverlyAnn

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2016, 12:27:33 am »
Adrenaline junkie.  I had forgotten about that.  I was guilty of that for a long time although not so much anymore.


Sapere Aude

I've known Rangers, Green Berets, Force Recon and Airborne at conferences and one of us in Maryland is a retired SEAL from Team Six.  I also know quite a few pilots.  Most all of those qualify as adrenaline junkies.
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Offline Rachel_Christina

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2016, 01:05:41 am »
An interesting thread.
Well I did it because I came from a long line of Military Men , it was expected of me and as my father and grandfather stated, " it was to make a man of me". " Its time you hardened up son"  I remember my father saying. So for me it was the Corps of Engineers, followed by the Parachute Regiment - 1 Para then the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst(West Point equivalent).

I even was a Policeman for a period  in the United kingdom. All part of being and being seen to deliver on the macho image. Of course it never succeeded of making a man in me , as basically there was always a woman crying - let me out. I want to be the real me.
Judith Lynn

Aw the woman crying let me out, its such sad image, but its how I'v felt all my life too



Offline diane 2606

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2016, 01:17:41 am »
Enlisted to be Airborne Infantry in Vietnam (survived that). Wanted Special Forces at the time of enlistment, but I was too young. Upon discharge sport parachuting was my hobby, until I got married. I figured I had responsibilities and shouldn't engage in hazardous activities, so I got a job flying freight over the mountains in single-engine airplanes at night during the winter by my self. By that time I had a wife, a baby and another on the way. No danger here.

I did not have a death wish, I figured I was invincible and could surely turn myself into a real man.
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Offline Katiepie

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2016, 01:58:21 am »
Honestly, I joined in the aspect of "why not?"
Do I regret it? Not really. The beginning of my army career was quite lousy, but then later I began to love it. And at this point I would never want it to have an end as of current.
I am in a field with minimal danger, being IT and all, but I have forged such a unique and great family within the span of my career, had many opportunities, and all in all a great experience. Recently I had come out to more soldiers in my unit. Good news is that they are all accepting, and even got my back more so. But what makes it even better is I know they will have my back, as I do theirs.

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Offline V M

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2016, 02:01:46 am »
Various people join up for various reasons, most common are to prove themselves, it is a family tradition, and for the various benefits available

Unfortunately, until recently anyone found out to be homosexual or transgender in any way became subject to scrutiny regardless of valor and services rendered

You may have been a Corpsman (Field Medic) and not only getting sent out and taking the same risks but also tending to the wounds of Marines and SEAL teams, it didn't matter

Those found guilty to be homosexual or transgender by the JAG and/or any other military judicial system were stripped of rank, dismissed of duty and all records expunged and benefits removed

Those found "guilty" basically ceased to exist
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Offline Dee Marshall

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2016, 04:43:38 am »
Yah, me too. Oddly enough it stopped shortly after that first dose of E.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 05:53:06 am by Dee Marshall »
April 22, 2015, the day of my first face to face pass in gender neutral clothes and no makeup. It may be months to the next one, but I'm good with that!

Being transgender is just a phase. It hardly ever starts before conception and always ends promptly at death.

They say the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. I say, climb aboard!

Offline AnxietyDisord3r

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2016, 05:06:17 am »
Trans man here. Hope this isn't off topic to this thread.

I always wanted to join the military, partially to escape a bad family situation, but also because my aunt was in the Navy and movies like Red October made the Navy seem cool. (I think the masculine uniforms also appealed.) Unfortunately, the Tailhook scandal happened when I was at a formative age, followed by the backlash against Clinton's attempt to allow gays in the military and Don't ask, don't tell (DADT). By the time I was 17 I realized that I was exclusively attracted to women and couldn't fake (due to my Asperger's) any interest in men. That meant I would have been subject to blackmail at any time. I was terrified of being raped in the service, especially corrective rape, so I basically gave up on going in. (I wanted to do four years and pay for college.)

Later on, they liberalized the rules but I was married by then and my wife put her foot down about me joining the reserves. I think the military has an age limit for a reason because as I've gotten older my resistance to authoritarian situations has really blown wider. There's no way I could go into that situation now and last a week. 18? Give me an order and I would have followed it.

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Re: Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2016, 05:46:42 am »
I thought trans women wanted to prove the world that they are women, not men. They do transistion for a reason, either socially or medical. So why do you want to prove you're a man, ladies? I always believed trans women are women who wants to live as women, even though they aren't cis. Maybe I have missed something.

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Why do many trans women serve in the military?
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2016, 05:59:53 am »
It's because in 1977 I didn't feel like not trying to overcome being trans was an option.  There was no internet and little to no information available.  Plus in my case my parents told me I was crazy and sent me away to a military school when I was 13 in 1973.  So I had only the choice to either make the best of it or to be mediocre and rejected.  So I became what they wanted.  I also didn't really like being bullied so I recreated myself as someone who could not be picked on.

Because of all that I was in an environment with no television, no triggers, and little exposure to any outside environment from age 13 to age 21.  Between that and having a strong mind I thought I had beaten it, or at least put it into a place where I could ignore it.


Sapere Aude
Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being....  - Dan Barker

U.S. Army Retired