A new documentary web series titled "TransMilitary" hit the web this week, attempting to bring visibility to the lived experiences of transgender individuals serving in the United States military.
Producers hope the stories shared in the series will play an important role in helping to frame the debate around ending the ban on transgender service in the military, a press release for the project pointed out.
The 2011 repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ended institutionalized marginalization of soldiers and officers by their sexual orientation, but had no impact on gender identity -- transgender people are still banned from military service. However, the discussion surrounding transgender military service is evolving to a place previously unprecedented, particularly in wake of Chelsea Manning's announcement that she identifies as a woman.
In the same way that it was important for Americans to see images and to hear the voices of gay and lesbian service members early in the fight for Don't Ask, Don't Tell -- seeing us, hearing our stories -- it changes the equation for many people," said Allyson Robinson, Principal Consultant/FMR. Exec. Director, OutServe-SLDN, in the above preview for "TransMilitary."
The preview released for the project includes commentary from Bryce Celotto, a transgender soldier currently serving in the military who is risking discharge for participating in the series. Other currently serving transgender military personnel will also take part, at their own personal risk.
"I was an army brat and I served in the army myself both as an enlisted soldier and as an officer," Robinson added. "I served in the Middle East, I served in Korea; and yet, none of it was as harrowing, as perilous, as wearing as the fight every day to push down, to keep inside the person that I knew that I was."