Serving with Transgender Service Members Conversations with Cisgender Veterans

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Michelle Dietert


Several studies focusing on public attitudes toward transgender people have been conducted, but there has been minimal research on how heteronormativity might influence military-affiliated respondents’ attitudes toward transgender service members. In this qualitative study, seven United States veterans participated in phone interviews from July 2020 to January 2021, in which they shared their thoughts about working with transgender service members. Findings also included their opinions regarding transgender service as it relates to unit cohesion, military effectiveness, and national security. Overall, this study uniquely contributes to the scholarly literature by providing a firsthand account of transgender military service from the service members themselves. The findings also lay the groundwork for future and more extensive studies related to the current integration of transgender service members as they work
alongside their cisgender colleagues.

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