Ann

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, employment, and public accommodations 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, go out with friends, and take care of their family. No one should have to put their health in jeopardy by avoiding the restroom, not drinking enough water, or waiting to find a single occupancy restroom because they are afraid of how they could be treated. We all know that discrimination is wrong. Everyone should be treated equally.