Explaining the past is difficult for anyone who is transgender. Stories of playing softball for your alma mater become blended with your brother’s experiences playing baseball so you don’t “out” yourself as transgender. Explaining how you busted your knee in high school football becomes a story about playing a powderpuff pick-up game with friends.
Eagle Scout with Silver Palm
Air Force medical Service Technician
Member of FEMA’s Disaster Medical Response Team, deployed after hurricanes Allison, Katrina and Rita
Coast Guard Auxiliary Volunteer
Medical services officer on Navy ships deployed six times in eight years
Some people seem born for service, moving through life at the tip of the spear while managing to support the ones around them who need it most. Nicole Shounder is one of those people.
Memorial Day weekend is, first and foremost, about remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It honors the many sacrifices of those who served and who are currently serving. It lifts up families and friends who have lost loved ones to combat and in the line of duty. It recognizes the best our nation had and has to offer.
Underneath my cover, I walk a straight line, returning salutes as I pass. A sergeant salutes and says, “Good morning, Sir.”
A warm glow flushes my cheeks, and I reply, “Good morning!” Closer to work a familiar face draws near and salutes; “Good morning, Ma’am.” A heavy feeling of discontent weighs on me, and I return the salute with the grudging reply, “Good morning.”
In the past few months, same sex military partners have been part of the collective American conversation. When the Fort Bragg Spouse’s Club resorted to naked discrimination and active condescension to keep Ashley Broadway out, it was splashed all over the news. When Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta extended as many benefits as possible to married same sex partners under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the LGB community celebrated. When the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of Article III of DOMA, the plight of same sex military couples was front and center in the reasons for striking the law down.
Reserve recruiters dream of people like Morgan Wade walking into their office. She had a sterling service record, was on the fast track to chief petty officer, and qualified in a field where the demand for skilled individuals is high. Top it off with a clear background check and a clean bill of health, and it should be easy, right?
Cyprus in the Mediterranean, and Vanuatu, in the South Pacific, are a literally a world apart from each other. What do these places have in common? In short, the answer is drugs, the kind transgender people desperately need for transitions but often are unable to obtain through normal channels. Read about the difficulty in legally obtaining Hormone Replacement Therepy and the ease of it through these two countries.
For whatever reason, this song has become traditional to the New Year. The Scottish phrase “auld lang syne” best translates as “for old times’ sake.” It asks us to reflect on friendship, and times past. After the most tumultuous year of my life I have had the opportunity to take stock of old acquaintances, and consider what has come and gone.