Community Conversation > Military Veterans Confab

Chelsea Manning and being transgender in the military

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Well, she's finally free!  I wish her the best of luck.

On the topic of being transgender in the military, hopefully by now everyone knows it is allowed (since 2016) and service members have access to medical care.  All branches are supposed to have all personnel 100% trained on the policies before 1 July this year.  It's not quite perfect, but pretty darn good all considered.

If anyone has any questions about the policy, comments or anything related to transgender service members and the military, I am available to chat and/or will answer/give advice as best I can.  I am currently a "senior" member serving in the military and am responsible for training on the policy...which is really ironic as I am transgender but have not "come out" yet... :laugh:

Saw a pic of her, and she looks pretty good.  Much better than when she went in.

I have some friends and have met others that are in the military.  They are very happy with the way things are going.

I'm retired from the Military and last year I told my primary care physician at my Military hospital I was trans and that I had been paying for all my transition related care outside from my own pocket.  She was extremely helpful in getting me to change over my prescriptions and semi-annual blood tests to the Army facilities to lower my out of pocket costs.  The mental health people at the hospital were also very helpful in getting me a referral for outside counseling.  While I wish they would provide more, I was overall pretty happy with their attitudes and desire to do whatever they could within the current system, particularly since that was in Aug before the DoD had announced its formal implementation plans.  People can say what they will about the U.S. Military but we have an outstanding medical system!

Conform and be dull. —James Frank Dobie, The Voice of the Coyote


--- Quote ---Saw a pic of her, and she looks pretty good.  Much better than when she went in.
--- End quote ---

Here's her new look.

I can honestly say I am surprised and pleased at how well the military is handling this.  However, there will be many hurdles and bumps along the way, especially these first couple of years.  There is still a lot (and by a lot I mean A LOT) of culture and policy that needs to change here for this to work.

Deborah, I'm very glad to hear you are getting help and cooperation through your military hospital.  Military medicine is one area that was not ready or equipped to handle this change.  The policy falls just short of requiring all medical care to come from a military medical facility...everything from diagnoses, counseling, and even Gender Confirmation Surgery!!  So, I imagine there are a lot of military providers frantically reading medical journals and websites to try to get a handle on things.  The estimated percentage of active duty members that will ultimately seek definitive care for their dysphoria is very low, maybe around 1%.  However, from the mental health professionals through the general practitioners and specialists, this is all territory they are not used to dealing with. 


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