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A Transgender Marine Comes Out Under The Military’s New Policy

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Lance Cpl. Aaron Wixson proves that being in the military as his real self is not an impediment to service. One of the first transgender men now serving openly in the Marines, Wixson is getting closer to his goal of transitioning thanks to a new US military policy that lifted a ban on transgender people and allows them access to health care.

On discussing his journey, Wixson, an Oklahoma native, told CNN,

I will feel that I am finally seen as who I really am.

Under the policy, Wixson will be able to change his name and gender in the Department of Defense database, use men’s facilities and stick to a male dress code once his treatment is complete.

According to the New York Times, around 2,450 of the 1.2 million people serving in the US Armed Forces identify as transgender. Paying for transition treatments would cost the military from $2.9 to $4.5 million annually. The current overall health care budget of the military is $6 billion per year.

Wixson says he hopes to receive a bilateral mastectomy – “top surgery” as those in the trans community call it – before May. He has also filed a request to start using male facilities and wear men’s uniforms before then, says.

He says he has been encouraged by the military’s response, “They’ve worked very, very hard to get me the help I need and help me get through this process. I’m very lucky and grateful for their support.”

Col. Walker Field, Wixson’s commanding officer, has nothing but encouragement, saying, “Every Marine in this command deserves the very best opportunity to reach his or her full potential, including Lance Cpl. Wixson.” He adds, “Enabling Lance Cpl. Wixson to openly serve as a transgender Marine necessarily increases readiness and broadens the overall talent of the organization.”

Wixson is “really grateful” that he has the opportunity to serve as an openly transgender man in the Marines.

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