Spokane

Transgender veterans react to President Trump's military announcement

Transgender veterans react to...

SPOKANE, Wash. - President Trump announced on Twitter on Wednesday that transgender individuals will no longer be able to serve in the military.

KXLY spoke to three veterans who served during the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" era, and say they hid who they were while in the service.

They say they worry for transgender service members who may have to hide their true identities.

Maeve Griffith's Air Force flag waves proudly outside her South Hill home.

"When I was in [the service] of course you couldn't be gay and in the military," she said.

Now, she's a captain with the Spokane Fire Department. She started hormone replacement therapy about ten months ago, and is thankful she works somewhere she can now be herself.

"We are so much stronger when we're allowed to tell the truth and be truthful people," Griffith said, explaining she believes lying is hurtful to institutions and organizations.

She says people who are transgender in any workplace just want to do their job.

"I flew and I wanted to fly, that's all," she said. "Being transgender was pretty far down on the list of things that I was. It shouldn't even be an issue."

Across town, veteran Jade Annasta's reaction to the President's tweets was anger.

"I went ballistic," she said. "I even blew up on Facebook and I was so angry I started crying."

She says she hid her true self in the military, too.

"I did get caught quite a bit with female attire in my dormitory," she said, "and I was confronted several times from C.O.s, but I always lied about it. I always blamed it on a girlfriend, 'oh those aren't mine.'"

She worries President Trump's decision could cause more discrimination.

"All it's doing is opening up more hate and more open hate towards the transgender community," she said, "which is already the most vulnerable in the world."

When Tori Boston was serving, she says she faced that type of discrimination. She says President Trump's decision is a "slap in the face."

"I was experimenting," she said. "I was dressing up. I had an iPhone with some pictures and some private messages, and even though there was no asking, no telling, I got outed and I got publicly humiliated and shamed."

When asked what she hopes comes next, she said, "I hope the outrage actually has an effect on the presidency and the policy, otherwise what's the point of it all?"

And Jenny Seibert, a transgender woman who -- while not a veteran -- worked as a treasury officer in Idaho before she transitioned, said: “we're your neighbors, we're your family, a lot of us we may even be your sons and daughters. We're just like you, we're normal people, and to select us for all this discrimination is just absurd and it's unjust."


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