Shannon Scott is an Air Force veteran who served for nearly 12 years in the us military. Throughout her career she received medals and honors for her dedication and service to our country. After 12 years of service irregardless of the accomplishments and respect from her peers, Shannon realized on July 26th she could very easily find herself on the receiving end of a possible dishonorable discharge simply because of her gender identity.
The US military employes the largest population of transgender people in the world. The Williams Institute estimates there are well over 15,000 transgender troops serving openly in the Us military at this time. Shannon Scott was one of them.
Her story is an inspiration to all transgender people, friends, and family, especially for those who are active duty right now. She is the Founding President and Lead Equity consultant for United Equity Consulting.com. A firm that provides work place training for the LBGT community. She her staff are a beacon of hope for the LBGT community. Shannon also runs a web cast on YouTube supporting transgender people and human rights. She is an amazing example of excellence in our community.
She talks about growing up in a small town in Montana, knowing early on there was something very different about herself.
Daily living on the ranch demanded her to use a very masculine work ethic. Shannon’s Catholic family supported that way of life, while secretly she wondered about her identity.
Over a span of ten years, Shannon sought out answers, speaking with multiple therapists. Trying to “fix herself”in the end they all came to the same conclusion, they couldn’t “fix her”. That being transgender was just who she was.
There were two major incidents she endured that brought her to a breaking point in her life, that helped her to realize that she needed to live in her own truth. The first being a heavy bout with depression that led her to put a gun to her head. Instead of pulling the trigger she listened to an inner voice that helped her to see that there was much more to do in her life. That inner voice helped prevent her from committing suicide that day.
The second incident took place on a plane flying out of Iraq. She found herself staring at the human remains of her lost fellow service members. The plane was loaded “head to tail”..as she sat there in a daze she asked her self “why am I alive,?” why do I get to go home? She realized that up to that moment she had been living in fear. And she wasn’t going to do that any longer.
These are moments that many of us experience, many of us reach a point of change, it can be triggered by a traumatic event. I know this first hand.
We all want to live in a country that accepts us. So that we can support ourselves, be able to get an education, work in an occupation that can provide a career. The military is one pathway that can give the disciplinary skills and job training people need to grow in a career field, and like many others, enjoy the privilege to serve our country as an equal part of our society. This is vitally important to many transgender lives. Many transgender people are career military personnel. For others having military experience is an advantage when seen on a resume, when applying for a home loan, scores of other discounts, and college tuition privileges that show appreciation for military personnel that risk there lives to serve this country. Including transgender.
Transgender people will struggle more to be accepted in a society that ultimately views us as a problem to this country, rather than a part of the solution to the vast gender gap between men and women. This horribly wrong message is reminiscent of past years that practiced a doctrine of discrimination for us. As a country we are overcoming and outgrowing those negative stereotypes. We are experiencing a gender revolution as Nat Geo put it so poignantly.
Donald Trump, and other politicians that don’t understand transgender people cause more harm than good to our country, especially when we consider the sheer number of transgender people and families in this country.
Oppression of transgender people by local law makers, or on a larger federal level, in this case Donald Trumps “ban on transgender people in the military”,could lead to a wave of discriminative business practices as well. If approved on a federal level. This outrageous oppressive attitude eventually leads to, pushing trans genders out of the work force as well, by inadvertently sending a message to all transgender people,our families, and friends. This is a message that screams, we are a problem, or somehow a burden to our society, this type of oppression leaves transgender people feeling hopeless. Some turn to illegal sex trades, drug markets that are associated with prostitution, and other problematic life paths that end up costing the country uncounted millions funded by the taxpayer for social services, and ultimately for many transgender people, a life of oppression low self-esteem and even for some suicide. It seems in this case the job creation part of the campaign rhetoric is only for the non transgender people. If your a transgender person, and you feel there is very little support for you……
The overwhelming out pour of support for transgender people was incredible, and as a result transgender people are not only allowed to stay in the military , we are now able to receive medical treatment for gender dysphoria in addition.
I could write about successful transgender people in the military only , and never run out of people to write about. That’s just the military. I decided to take a different direction for this piece. The Proud to be Trans Face Book page is soon publishing a report on the history of transgender people in the world. A vitally important report that covers a span of time dating all the way to the ancient Sumerians. The earliest writings known to the human race. In that report there are numerous storys of transgender warriors, and the government rulers. China’s Greatest explorer Cheng Ho was a eunuch. The eunuchs were a group of men who removed there testicles. In order to work as care takers for the emperor. The word eunuch comes from the Greek word for bed watcher. They were seen in the east as guardians of the royal harem.thes were indeed transgenders of the day, Every major empire trusted and used the eunuchs for centurys in order to run their empires. Durring the Ming dynasty, it is said that up to 20,000 eunuchs were employed in the Forbidden City imperial eunuchs serviced the empire until 1924. These were servants to the government of the time.
The point being that transgender individuals have worked in government for century’s and we’re a critical part of the governmental structure in the far East as well as Europe, Spain and around the world. Even in today’s military. We could learn to understand transgender people as a part of history, than we can understand transgender people today.