Austin, Texas – (Accredited Times) – As AT readers will be well-aware, in July this year, the fascist President Trump hatefully announced the end to transgendered people serving their country in battle. For now, however, transgender troops will remain exactly where they are, pending the results of a survey to be conducted personally by James Mattis.
We caught up recently with one of the brave troops, whose career hangs in the balance, in order to find out what life is really like for a transgendered soldier fighting on the front line. Primrose Kent, 33, who previously identified as Butch ‘The Assassin’ Kent, kindly gave me an hour of her time. Our interview focused on her very first day as a woman soldier. Note: for security reasons, we are unable to disclose Primrose’s actual location.
Primrose: I remember being full of nerves that morning on my first day at the front line after my gender transition. I’d been waiting for this day for a very long time. I had woken up two hours early to get ready, making sure my makeup was perfect and my dress was ironed.
At the time, my job as a sniper required me to be on my feet for 8 hours every day. So, as I slipped on my heels, I made sure to pack flats as well. While walking down the stairs to the armored vehicle, I quickly re-evaluated and concluded the heels weren’t a good idea after all — I ditched them in the tank.
Out of all my memories of my first day, that’s the one that always sticks with me. Though I had spent plenty of time as my true self before my transition, I couldn’t help but be nervous about a full day on the front line.
Would my fellow-troops misgender me by accident? Was I dressing appropriately? These were the thoughts running through my head as we drove through the desert.
The sad truth is that too many trans people never experience a first day as their true selves. Whether they’re afraid of being fired (or fired upon, in my case!), or worried about not getting taken seriously, many trans people decide to wait until they leave the army to transition.
As I shucked my heels for more practical flats, I thought about the day ahead of me. Here were my 3 biggest worries on my first day on the front line:
- Did we miss anything in planning?
My transition took 4 months of planning. When I first came out to the colonel, he had a total deer in the highlights look. I could tell that he didn’t know how to support a transition. I was the army’s guinea pig for gender transitions.
I was also incredibly lucky that the army’s HR team took my transition seriously. The HR director called several of her professional contacts to see if anyone else had administered a transition before. Their universal answer? “We haven’t, but please let us know how it goes!”
HR ended up administering diversity training sessions with a focus on common trans issues to all army officers. Additionally, we had an evening question and answer session at the barracks that ended up a great team building activity.
- Will my fellow troops fully accept me?
I was coming into an unfamiliar battalion with new social dynamics in a new gender. One thing that a lot of trans people can struggle with is gendered social cues. Lacking a cis female socialization, I was worried I would do or say something out of place or inappropriate.
A week before starting at the new battalion, we held an after-drill pizza meeting that was the first time my co-troops had seen me as Primrose and it had gone really well. I had been concerned before for sure. Even with a fully supportive HR department, I was worried about how these subconscious biases may creep into my army life.
As a result, for the first few months, I took special care with my makeup and appearance. It felt like my appearance, work ethic, and mannerisms were the only things I had complete control of when it came to making an impression on my co-troops.
But once freed of my gender dysphoria, I became a much more productive sniper and the work ethic took care of itself. Despite becoming a much more efficient killer, however, I became acutely aware of the loss of whatever male privilege I had before transitioning.
- How do I handle being treated as the woman soldier I always knew myself to be?
It took less than an hour to experience overt misogyny. Of course, I knew it would happen eventually, but not with my first kill.
The Arab world is fiercely conservative and the enemy soldier I was engaging right then looked horrified at my appearance. I had him in my sights, was ordering to drop his weapon, but he just looked at me aghast as though I was some sort of freak show. I dropped him right there, putting a bullet through his bigoted brain.
Looking back on it now, having personally experienced hundreds of acts of misogyny since transitioning, that one sticks out to me.
In conclusion, whilst I love the army life and serving my country, there is uncertainty ahead. If Trump gets his way, trans snipers like me will have to find other jobs. I love my country and I’m prepared to die for it, but it’s no longer up to me.