Springfield, VA

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My name is Ann. I have been married for 26 years, and I have two children – one in high school and one in college. We’re really just a normal, run-of-the-mill family. If I were to name some unique things about myself, I’d say that I love to sail, I have my private pilot’s license, and I like to joke around and say that my biggest claim to fame is that my first boss’s wife lived next to Elvis – so, I have one degree of separation from The King himself. In addition to all of this, and more, I am a transgender woman.


I am also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, and I served my country for 24 years. I enlisted in 1988 as a journalist, and after four years, I went to Officer Candidate School. I served in Korea and later Afghanistan, commanded Special Operations at Ft. Bragg, and finished my military career at the Pentagon. I haven’t retired fully yet, in fact, right now I’m work at the Department of Veterans Affairs.


I enjoy my job, but I have to say, every time I get ready in the morning and leave my house, I’m a little bit worried. I worry about my safety and wonder if the day will be okay or will I get belittled, mocked, or worse, simply for being a transgender woman. I just want to live my life, focus on being with my family and friends, do a good job at work, go after my dreams, and be a productive member of society. I am a human being, just like anyone else. I only want to be treated with basic dignity and respect.


Protecting transgender people in housing and public employment would go a long way to addressing the discrimination people experience every day. Everyone should be able to have a roof over their head, compete for a job, be paid for the value of their work, and take care of their family. We all know that discrimination is wrong. Everyone should be treated equally.