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Stories of Service

Stories of Service

As GLAD and NCLR continue to fight Trump’s baseless and immoral transgender military ban in court, we are joining with the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) and SPART*A to highlight the stories of transgender veterans and service members of color.

Black, Native American, Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander people continue to be overrepresented in military service compared with the civilian workforce. Transgender people, too, have served at a higher rate than other demographics.

On these pages, we are sharing stories from dedicated individuals who have fought barriers in order to defend the values that unite us as a country: freedom, diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity.

Many thanks to Kylar Broadus and TPOCC for coordinating this story project.
Read Kylar’s reflections on his father’s service and the military’s history with integration in the the Advocate.


Stories of Service

Dana Delgardo

Being transgender had no impact on my ability to safely and efficiently transport injured service members to life-saving medical care. As most anyone who has served will tell you, it’s the ability to do the job that counts. Read more

Major Ian Brown

I know of service members who lost access to health care and access to training opportunities, and others that don’t feel safe advocating for themselves. They’re vulnerable. Read More

Taliyah Cassidine

[With the ban] You’re going to have allies not working to the best of their ability because you just eliminated their friend, their confidant. One thing I can say about soldiers is that they stand up for each other. Read More

Karen Kendra Holmes

If President Trump only got to know who we are, got to sit down with transgender people who actually serve, then he would actually know that we’re really doing great things out there. Read More

Shane Ortega

Native Americans serve more than any demographic of people. Shane Ortega made history as the first transgender service member to serve openly in the military. Read More

TreShaun Pate

People who have proven they can meet the demands of military service and are willing to sacrifice their lives for their fellow Americans have already proven a unique level of strength. Excluding transgender service members just because you don’t understand them is so backwards. Read More

Nicole Lynn Perry

People are already serving – and if you kick out someone with 15 years’ experience, someone who’s been through the Iraq War, you can’t just replace that. You lose a lot of quality. Read More

Ashley Scott

Putting a ban on any community, whether based on gender, race, religion, or being transgender, opens the door for people to be more discriminated against. It dehumanizes people. All any of us wants is to be our true selves, to be happy, and to be of service. Read More