OutServe Magazine
February 8, 2013

Reserve recruiters dream of people like Morgan Wade walking into their office. She had a sterling service record, was on the fast track to chief petty officer, and qualified in a field where the demand for skilled individuals is high. Top it off with a clear background check and a clean bill of health, and it should be easy, right? The problem: Morgan Wade is female now, but that is not what was on her original birth certificate. It wasn’t what was in her records when she joined the Navy. Even before she joined the Navy, though, Morgan was already dealing with gender dysphoria. She treated it as something chronic but manageable. “The first time I figured out I had body image issues was actually before I joined the Navy, though at that point I didn’t know what it was or meant,” she said. “I just tried to ignore it. At that moment in my life, I didn’t know what I could do other than just try to deal with it the way I always had.”