Veterans Group Balks at Trans Member

BY Advocate.com Editors

May 24 2010 12:40 PM ET

A Navy veteran is making waves with her transition from male to female,
but her local Veterans of Foreign Wars post, of which she is a member, is
stunned and making possibly discriminatory policies due to her
change.

Laura Bush, formerly Larry Bush, who served 24 years in the Navy, has been a member of the General MacArthur Memorial VFW Post 392 in Virginia Beach, Va., since last year, according to The Virginian-Pilot. There, she's made breakfasts, passed out gift bags at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and served as a chaplain.

She spoke with post commander Joe Brady, who allowed her to come to a meeting to speak about being transgender. However, when she arrived wearing a female dress uniform, the organization quickly reacted, making provisions to cancel her membership unless she makes her appearances dressed in male clothing until she undergoes gender-reassignment surgery or legally changes her name. She has begun taking steps for the latter process, and she hopes to begin hormone therapy soon.

She said the VFW means a lot to her, but argued that the organization does not have a dress code and is supposed to accept anyone with an honorable discharge from the armed forces.

The Transgender American Veterans Association estimates that there are about 300,000 transgender vets in the United States.

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