LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Rebecca Grant was a transgender soldier who spent 12 years in the Army National Guard and was discharged two weeks before ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ was repealed on September 20th.
“I felt ostracized. I felt harassed, I felt discriminated against and I felt there were safety issues,” said Grant.
Grant enlisted as a male, but about a year ago she transitioned into a female. Grant says the military discharged her because she had a gender identity disorder, even though she has won numerous awards and had an excellent record.
She says making her transition to a woman has made her a stronger person.
“I was beginning to have more self esteem,” said Grant. “I would want to continue living as a female.”
Grant legally changed her first name to Rebecca. According to the Army National Guard, she was enlisted as Nicholas Grant.
Now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was repealed, which allows gays and lesbians to be open about their sexuality in the military, transgender soldiers cannot do the same.
Rebecca has a message for those who are transgender in the military, but feel they cannot be open about it.
“Be strong, be who you are, tell the truth,” said Grant. “When I went from hiding who I really was to telling the truth on who I was, I started feeling so much better.
The Army National Guard could not discuss Grant’s case specifically. But they do agree ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ does not cover transgender soldiers. They say it is an Army regulation that transgender people are administratively unfit to serve in the Army. They also say the subject is a new topic in military affairs and are looking into the matter.
For the full story, watch the video above.