Transgender, at War and in Love
Transgender, at War and in Love is a documentary featuring Logan Ireland and his fiancée Laila Villanueva. They are a transgender couple that is currently serving in the military. The film was produced by Fiona Dawson and first appeared in an Op-Ed for the New York Times in June 2015.
In the documentary, Logan and Laila discuss the challenges they each face while serving from both the male and female perspective. For Logan, he has been able to gain a level of acceptance as he is allowed to present and identify as male. He is allowed to dress according to regulations reserved for male soldiers. Logan also discusses the difficulties he faces every time he is assigned to a new unit when he has to decide who he should tell about his gender at the risk of losing everything.
For Laila it is an entirely different story. Though she identifies as and looks female, she is forced to identify herself to others as male and dress according to male guidelines. Failure to do so would result in being discharged. The story explores how the experience is entirely different for “female to males” compared to “male to females”. Though these differences exist, both are faced with losing everything as they try just to simply exist as who they are both individually and as a couple.
Currently, the U.S. Department of Defense is reviewing their policy regarding whether or not to allow transgender soldiers to openly serve. A recent proposal would allow transgender soldiers to receive non-surgical treatments for gender dysphoria which includes hormone treatments. It is being speculated that the ban on transgender soldiers will be lifted in May this year. To date, there has been no official announcement regarding any changes to the current policy.