Author Topic: Experience with Royal Canadian Legion, American Legion, British Legion, VFW, etc  (Read 325 times)

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Offline TSL_NB

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I just thought I would create a distinct topic on this one.

As many here already know, I'm a dual Canadian/US citizen, and since being discharged back in 2010, I joined my then-wife and stepkids here in Canada, and this has been my home (and, the family has had some additions since :)  ).

I knew I wanted to be a part of the Veterans' community since moving here, and the moment I was told that as a US Navy veteran, I was allowed a place at the Royal Canadian Legion, I jumped right on it, and it was always a pretty good experience.

Since finally being complete, though (and, with COVID complications), I haven't had a real presence there for the last two years, as I really felt uncertain as to how my branch would react.  A few of the other branches were not exactly welcoming to transgender, or really any LGBTQ veterans or prospective members.

Well, after a couple of weeks of running into other members in town, where I was just straightforward about things, and having an awesome church minister (who is also the Legion's chaplain), I made my first appearance at a branch meeting, being completely myself.

And, it went extremely well. :)  I was relieved, elated...I even cried a little on the drive home.

I think I just may be fortunate to have such accepting people at my branch.

I just thought I would spin up this topic, if others had  stories to share where they were fully out at their branch or post.
It took over 40 years to realise, and believe, that what I am NOT, is a mistake.

(Yes, I'm a Canadian who served in the US Navy....)


Offline KathyLauren

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  • Casting off dull certainty
While it is true that the Legion still has a lot of old-timers, they are trying to recruit younger members, and that means (in Canada) current and former military members who have only known an inclusive service.  So I would hope that most Legion branches are gradually evolving to be more inclusive themselves. 

I am not a Legion member, but I enjoy reconnecting with folks I knew in the air force, 40+ years ago.  I participate as myself in a Facebook group for the particular aircraft I flew, with no apologies or explanations, and with no hassles.  When I run across someone I knew back in the day, I come out to them by PM.  Here is a reply I got recently from my former Flight Commander:
"Hello Kathy, your response puts my mind at ease. I could not figure out who you were. Glad to see that your life eventually turned out OK for you. Life is too short to be someone you do not wish to be. Being safe and happy are keys to enjoying life to its max. 😊"

That, believe it or not, is the attitude I have gotten from everyone.  And those are the people that the Legion is now seeking for its membership.  So I think that the acceptance you have seen will only become more widespread, at least in the Royal Canadian Legion.
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 Jane.Shannon

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Kathy,
Was your aircraft one that outs you as trans because women couldn't fly it?  One of the things I feel lucky about is that I was a logistics officer.  Those fields have been open to women for years and years, so when people hear I what I did it doesn't out me.
Thanks,
Jane
June 2021: Orchiectomy
July 2020: Full Time
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline KathyLauren

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Kathy,
Was your aircraft one that outs you as trans because women couldn't fly it?  One of the things I feel lucky about is that I was a logistics officer.  Those fields have been open to women for years and years, so when people hear I what I did it doesn't out me.
Thanks,
Jane

Yes.  Not so much the aircraft, but my service dates.  I flew that aircraft from 1976 to 1981.  The first female pilots only graduated in 1981.  (I remember, because I was at their graduation parade as a member of the base band.)

Anyone who remembers that history will be able to figure out my background.  Indeed one of those first female pilots (she was one of three in that graduating class) figured it out.  I eventually "friended" her on FB and she told me so, and said that she had had it confirmed by a male coursemate to whom I was already out.

And the lovely thing is that it doesn't matter.  If they figure it out, it is obvious that I don't find it relevant to the activity on that page.  And if they don't figure it out, they can carry on obliviously.  To all of them, I am just a former pilot who remembers the good old days, and that is the way I like it: no elephant in the room.
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 Jane.Shannon

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Thanks Kathy!  It is really nice to hear that aspect of life is working out for you. 

I live near Seattle, and the American Legion near me is working so hard to attract new members (most are Vietnam era) that they would be hard pressed to turn anyone willing to join away.
June 2021: Orchiectomy
July 2020: Full Time
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

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