Senior Airman Logan Ireland is one of over 15,000 transgender troops serving in the U.S. military. Back at home, the fact that Logan is transgender is very much a part of how he’s viewed. But in Afghanistan, he says it’s like he’s “on vacation,” finally able to be himself. He’s able to serve his country and live life as the man he says he was born to be.
But even though transgender people are twice as likely to serve in the military as their fellow citizens, current policy prohibits them from serving as openly transgender. Since Logan recently told his commander that he’s transgender, he’s now at risk of being discharged. “[Transgender troops] are getting discharged left and right,” he says, “and these are good people for the military.”
His fiancée, Laila, is also in the army as a healthcare management administration specialist. She, too, is transgender, born male, and has been in the military for 12 years. At work, though, she’s forced to identify as a male and correct patients when they use female pronouns. She even has to use the male bathroom.
Watch as Logan and Laila describe their tumultuous experiences as transgender members of the military in this emotional documentary from The New York Times.