Transgender Soldier Upset Over Uniform

Sgt. Shane Ortega has served in the military for 10 years and is transgender. For half of that time, Ortega has been openly living as a man. Although the Department of Defense is planning to review its policy of banning transgender service members, current military rules state that Ortega must still be addressed as a female officer and is only allowed to wear women's uniforms. Ortega is a competitive bodybuilder and only fits the largest size of women's uniforms--size 20. Ortega told ABC News, "I look ridiculous."

According to Latina Magazine, Ortega became the army's first transgender sergeant. About the upcoming policy review, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said "Throughout this time, transgender men and women in uniform have been there with us, even as they often had to serve in silence alongside their fellow comrades in arms. The Defense Department's current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions."

Ortega is excited about the potential change saying "I'm pumped up. At the same time I know this is a small step forward and there's so much more to do.” Ortega also shared that he knows a transgender woman who is afraid to come out as she is still serving in an all-male unit. She is just one of an estimated 15,500 transgender soldiers serving in the military.

Photo: Opus News

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