“It’s Like Night and Day”: A Trans Veteran on the Military vs. Her Current Job
Whitney Hayden says she’s “generally not a political person.” But news coming out of Washington, D.C. caught her attention when President Donald Trump’s tweeted on July 26 that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military.
“It saddened me and disappointed me on a lot of levels, being transgender and a veteran and an American citizen,” she said. “If you’re an able-bodied person, you should be allowed to serve. There are people right now serving their country — and serving it well — who are transgender. If I were in their shoes, I would probably have more to prove because of that.”
As a transgender woman who served on active duty in the Army Signal Corps 1979–1981, Whitney knows a little of what it’s like to be in the shoes of a trans service member today. But since last June, trans people in the armed forces have had the opportunity to serve openly, whereas Whitney’s time in the military was riddled with fear that she would be found out.