Although there have been studies that focus on the experiences of the gay and lesbian population serving in the United States military, few have focused on the experience of active duty transgender service members. Transgender individuals transgress the binary conception of gender by deviating from societal gender norms associated with assigned sex at birth. The Department of Defense has set policies and standards that reflect a binary conception of gender, with a focus on conformity. We argue that able-bodied gender variant service personnel are just as capable of serving their country as anyone else. Because of the repercussions associated with active duty transgender military personnel, our sample is small and involves nine clandestine service members and two international service members who wanted to share their stories from a different perspective. Snowball sampling was aimed at finding current active duty and reserve transgender service members. Using a combination of telephone interviews and questionnaires, data were collected from active duty transgender service personnel throughout the United States and two from international militaries that allow transgender people to serve. Data collection focused on the overall experiences of the participants along with questions regarding workplace discrimination, suggestions for policy changes, and their views about the overturn of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Our findings add to a growing source of information about the transgender military experience in the U.S. armed forces and the importance of overturning discriminatory workplace policies that negatively impact transgender service members.
Dietert, Michelle and Dentice, Dianne, "The Transgender Military Experience: Their Battle for Workplace Rights" (2015). Faculty Publications. 21.
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