Back in the Day

I have always had problems with veterans who seemingly hit the peak of their lives during their time in the service.

Even though I have been fortunate enough to live a very full life, last night I found myself in the same spot.

Liz and I joined a mixture of cross dressers and a few transgender friends at a local steakhouse for dinner. Towards the end of the evening, the topic of traveling came up. Along the way, I mentioned to one of the cis-women I lived in Thailand for a year and was able to travel through three continents in three years when I was in the Army...Southeast Asia, Europe and North America (of course.) She was fascinated and didn't really question the why's and when's of why I was there.

At that point I began to feel guilty of acting like that period of my life was the highlight.

As I began to think about it though, it may have been. After all, I met my wife in Germany and she became the Mother of my only daughter. And, since I utilize the Veteran's Administration for my health care, including my gender transition meds, I have to include it too.

Either you could say my time in the service turned out to be one of the unexpected highlights of my life, or I made the best of a potentially very bad situation...serving directly in the Vietnam War.

However, unless I automatically want to out myself, I have to be careful about how I talk about my Army service. I have a tendency to tell the truth and say I was drafted. Of course then and now, women have not been drafted into the military. So I have concocted a story which is semi true, I worked as a contractor for the Army, since I worked for the Air Force for part of my enlistment.

It seems to work.

Comments

  1. Even mentioning to someone, " After all, I met my wife in Germany and she became the Mother of my only daughter" pretty much outs you.

    Although I have no actual war stories to tell, there is so much from my past life that I have to think twice about before discussing any of it with others. My wife has been changed to "my partner," and then I must be careful when I mention that we're still together, married now for 47 years. That's something for which I take great pride (though most of the credit goes to her), but I have often had to bite my tongue to keep from sharing that information. Still, I am surprised by the number of people who just assume that I am married to a man, and that I am a mother to my daughters and a grandmother to my grandchildren. I never correct anyone for those assumptions right away, but the further I might go into our past, the more apt I am to have to explain things.

    Can I tell you the story of how I won the football game on the last play by ripping the ball from the quarterback's hands and running it back for a touchdown? No, I guess not; that story has not been in my repertoire for years. Oh, welll

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  2. Yes, it's very easy to out ourselves by accident, I have had to be careful how I refer to much of my past, I now make sure that I was a "child" and a "Chorister" I played "Sport" and yes my wife often become my "partner" or my "ex", I have to make sure that I am a "tradesperson" and a "parent"; sometimes it can get quite tiring.

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