The first trans woman was shortlisted for Military Spouse of the Year
A trans woman is the first out trans person to be nominated for the Military Spouse of the Year award for this year in the US.
Leila Ireland was shortlisted by Military Spouse Magazine’s annual Military Spouse of the Year competition.
She was the first out trans person to be shortlisted for the award.
Despite that Ireland was not in the top 18 nominees for the gong, she is still increasing trans visibility in the US military through being long-listed.
Last year a short documentary featured Ireland and her husband Logan, who is also trans, and explored issues they’ve faced as a trans military couple.
The New York Times Op-Doc ‘Transgender, at War and Love’, which was nominated for the Outstanding Short Documentary Emmy shows Leila and Logan who both serve in the Military.
Amid a war zone, Logan comes out to his commanding officer, despite being in active duty, and says he may “lose everything” after his deployment in Kandahar, Afghanistan, for being open.
Logan says that, at the time of filming, when at his base in the US, he would be addressed as female, “But out here in a war zone, It’s like a vacation because I can be myself.”
His wife Leila is also in the military, and works as a healthcare management administration specialist in Honolulu, Hawaii.
She says she was told by her supervisor to “correct” patients who used female pronouns, and to tell them she is male.
At the end of June, the US Military announced that it would, over the course of a year, lift its ban on transgender troops serving openly.
Gay, lesbian and bisexual people have been permitted to openly serve in the US military since 2013, when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed.
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However, the US military continues to ban transgender people from serving under outdated medical regulations – which disqualifies people from service if they have “current or history of psychosexual conditions, including but not limited to transsexualism, exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism, and other paraphilias”.
The Pentagon has come under increasing pressure to amend regulations and allow trans people to serve, with Defence Secretary Ash Carter repeatedly promising reform on the issue.
Watch Transgender, at War and Love below: