Trans Military Ban
Start writing a post

Trans Military Ban

A one on one interview with an active duty trans soldier.

Trans Military Ban

After yet another attempt by President Trump to ban transgender people from serving in the military, I decided to interview an active duty trans woman in the process of transitioning while serving in the army. I wanted to get to know what it was like to serve as a trans person, and what struggles or barriers they might face.

Text in bold is my words. Text in "quotes" is Catherine.

Care to introduce yourself?

"My name is Cathrine Schmid, but I normally go by Katie. I use she/her pronouns."

Can you tell me a little about your current situation in the military?

"I'm an Army Staff Sergeant, currently stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (just outside of Tacoma). I've been serving for 13 years, including US postings in Kansas, Florida, Texas, and Arizona, and overseas tours in Germany, Korea, and Iraq."

Wow. Impressive. Now let's address the elephant in the room. Did you know you were trans when you joined the Army?

"I knew that I was trans, though I didn't have the word for it, from a young age. But I spent most of my life doing everything in my power to deny and suppress it. The military is a very masculine environment, and I thought that being part of that would take away the distress I felt from dysphoria.

I never intended to serve as a trans person in the military. I intended to serve as whatever the military made me into.

Clearly, that didn't work.

After 10 years of service, I found myself contemplating suicide. I sought help instead, and eventually came to understand that transition was the only reliable treatment for dysphoria."

Right. Well, it seems to me like you're doing a great service to your country, and that your identity has nothing to do with your ability to serve. So uh... hm... I guess that's it?

I originally wanted to write a huge expose on how trans folks in the military are bravely suffering in silence while putting their lives on the line. And they are. But I forgot that they're also just... people. Doing their jobs. All the sensationalizing the media has done on trans folks in general, especially those serving in the military, isn't actually helping them.

"Should trans folks be allowed to serve" is an argument we've had many times, in many ways. Before that it was "should gay people serve openly" and before THAT it was "should gay people serve at ALL". Then we had the argument of women serving, and if POC should be integrated with the white troops or made to serve in segregated factions.

I don't think anyone said it better and more concisely than the tv show "The West Wing". For any Gen Z-ers who might not know the show, it's about the senior staff of the White House's day to day lives. In this particular scene, they've been arguing with two representatives from the military about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". The episode came out before it was repealed, and the two military representatives seem to be firmly against repealing it, so the discussion seems to be going nowhere. Just when the senior staff is about to give up, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Fitzwallace, stops by to put in his two cents.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments