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OutServe Magazine | Last Updated June 29, 2015

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Trans and the Military FAQ

September 14, 2012 | Comments

About a month ago I interviewed David McKean, head of the Servicemember’s Legal Defense Network (SLDN) regarding legal and UCMJ issues surrounding being trans in the military. David emphasized that every situation is differs in the particulars. The way trans people are dealt with by the military depends greatly on the individual chain of command, Read More

Transition Advice

July 2, 2012 | Comments

By Brynn Tannehill

Brynn Tannehill

Like everyone in the military, at some point I had to leave. Transitioning from military life to civilian is hard enough. Transitioning genders at the same time adds a degree of difficulty that even Greg Louganis would cringe at. I left active duty in 2008 after 10 years in the service. I left the reserves in 2010 as Lt. Cmdr. Bryan Tannehill. Less than two years later I was Brynn Tannehill, civilian defense contractor.  Somehow, despite all the horror stories within the trans community, I managed to stay continuously employed, stay married, and maintain most of the relationships that mattered most to me.

Some of this good fortune was due to sheer, dumb luck. The fact that I am still married and still hopelessly in love is mostly due to the resilience, intelligence, and adaptability of my spouse. Some of it is due to the work I put in to make sure I was making good decisions along the way. Good planning, and good decisions, had the most to do with why I am still employed. Since almost everyone in the military who gets out has to find a job at some point, tips on how to handle your transition at work seems to be the most generally applicable place to start. Finding a spouse who will stick around for your transition is all on you.

Here are my thoughts and advice: Read More

Coming Home & Coming Out

May 30, 2012 |

Yellow Ribbon Program Inclusive of Gay Families

By Charlie Vest

Soldiers, military families, children from schools, civil service employees, contract personnel and citizens from the communities surrounding Fort Knox, Ky., set an unofficial world record Nov. 6, 2011, with the largest Yellow Ribbon formation made up of 2,216 people on Fort Knox.

As I prepare to redeploy, I’m already planning my return to the States after a long year away from loved ones at home. These plans include attending a Yellow Ribbon event with my fiancé, Rob. For those on active duty who have never attended such events or have never even heard about the program, the Yellow Ribbon event is a reintegration and welcome home program for Reservists and Guardsmen of all services. Read More

OutServe-SLDN Re-Issue Uniform Guidance for San Diego Pride

May 25, 2012 | Comments


Now that some have been given official permission to wear their uniform in Pride Parades, here is the latest SLDN and OutServe guidance, as of July 20, 2012, for uniform wear in relation to the San Diego Pride Parade:

Previous Guidance

Compiled by OutServe’s Actively Serving Leadership Council

As we move into pride season, many have questions about wearing uniforms or participating in color guards at local events.  OutServe also gets frequent questions about wear of uniforms at events like the Human Right’s Campaign or Servicemembers Legal Defense Network annual dinners.

The DoD political activities and ethics rules are complicated, and there is no easy answer.  Each event is different, and the rules change depending on what role you play.  The OutServe Actively Serving Leadership team has been working to develop some recommendations and guidelines to help our members determine what is appropriate.  Read More

Protected Employment

April 25, 2012 |

By David Small

I started a new job Monday. Yay! But don’t all cheer at once. During my death by PowerPoint inprocessing, I took particular note of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) briefing.

I am a Reservist, so this new job is a civilian government service job under the Department of the Army. I knew there was no addition of the words ‘sexual orientation’ to the military equal opportunity’s (MEO) definition of protected employment for those in uniform once “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was abolished. Baby Steps. But I had no idea that our civilian counterparts’ employment was also not overtly protected based on sexual orientation.

Race, gender… even a relatively new law from 2008 preventing bias based on genetic disposition were all covered. Sexual orientation was glaringly missing.

Read More