It’s been one year since the Trump-Pence administration implemented its ban on transgender people serving in the military. Yet despite this deeply discriminatory ban, hundreds of exempt transgender military members who came out before the ban was implemented continue to prove their critics wrong each and every day. Simply by serving openly while focusing on their mission, they prove that the excuses used to try and justify the ban are baseless and driven by nothing more than bias and a lack of understanding about what it means to be trans.
One of these patriots is LCDR Blake Dremann, who MMAA awarded its Outstanding Advocate Award in 2018 for his tremendous leadership in advocating for the transgender military community.
Dremann said, “Since the ban on trans service was announced in 2017 and enacted in 2019, I have worked very hard to make sure that being ‘trans’ was NEVER an issue that could be pointed to as a hindrance in any of my accomplishments.”
“This has NEVER been about a ‘right to serve,’ but one of that we have served and continue to serve. That we are consistently proving our worth by serving with excellence,” continued Dremann. “My experience as a trans service member is FAR from unique.”
Far more than proving his worth as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, since 2017, he has become one of the most visible nuclear supply chain specialists at the Defense Logistics Agency and co-authored one the first DoD supply chain security strategies. Recently moved to a new job at Navy Supply HQ doing ammo logistics, he has also testified before Congress, completed an MBA, maintained professionalism and demeanor in hundreds of interviews, and spoken at numerous events educating others on how trans military members continue to serve with honor, dignity, and excellence.
Since 2017, he has been awarded a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the DoD Pride Military Leadership Award, and a Logistics Operations Peer Award.
That hardly sounds like someone who is a tremendous “burden” or “disruption,” as Donald Trump tried to claim transgender people are to the military when he announced his unconscionable ban.
“On this one year anniversary, we cannot forget those who must serve in silence. Even identifying as trans could easily put a target on a person for mistreatment and discrimination,” said Dremann. “Seeking medically necessary care could lead to discharge. It is a fear that no person should shoulder, when we KNOW that it is entirely possible to have open service.”
If you are facing discrimination or harassment in the military because of your gender identity or sexual orientation, please contact MMAA’s legal help desk at email@example.com.