'Transgender, at War and in Love,' NY Times doc profiles trans service members

Active duty United States Airman Logan Ireland and his fiancee, U.S. Soldier Laila Villanueva came out publicly today as being transgender in an exclusive New York Times Op-Doc,Transgender, at War and in Love. The U.S. military bans transgender people from serving, therefore the pair immediately risks being discharged. By sharing their story the courageous couple hope to represent the estimated 15,500 active service transgender troops in the U.S. military. Ireland, 27, and Villanueva, 29, have a combined 16 years of service, four deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, and have received awards and commendations for their work. Yet Department of Defense medical readiness regulations prohibit their open service and classify them as unfit to serve. Check out the short doc:

Transgender, at War and in Love is part of the groundbreaking New York Times editorial series Transgender Today. In conjunction with the film's release, The New York Times editorial board published a lenghty editorial today entitled "Let Transgender Troops Serve Openly." As the Times rightly points out, "Medical and military experts who have studied the policies have concluded that there is no rationale for disqualifying transgender troops from serving on medical grounds." They also pointed out that "Military officials from several of America’s closest allies have been pragmatic and enlightened about this issue for years. Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany and Israel are among the nations that allow transgender people to serve openly."

Transgender, at War and in Love was commissioned by The New York Times and produced by TransMilitary host Fiona Dawson in partnership with Rich is Relative Media. TransMilitary intimately shares the reality of serving in the United States and the United Kingdom's armed forces as someone who identifies as being transgender. This project showcases the contrast between U.S. transgender military personnel who are still banned from serving, while their British counterparts have been treated as equals in their armed forces since 1999. Learn more about TransMilitary at TransMilitary.org.