(Images via Facebook)
Henry is also likely to be “the first and only active duty service member who has changed her name and gender within the United States military.”
In the interview, she says that when she requested her name and gender be officially changed earlier this year, the Army - which officially classes transgender people as “incompatible with military service” - “actually used female pronouns in the document” that granted the request for the change.
Henry says her story proves that despite the official position, being out and trans is compatible with military service and that being trans has made her a better service member and better doctor. She also says that despite her fears, “my commander said, ‘I don’t care who you love, I don’t care how you identify, I want you to be healthy and I want you to be able to do your job.’”
“Yes, it’s awkward. I’ve had to embrace awkwardness with gusto these last nine months. It’s not easy. It’s not easy for the people that are my family, it’s not easy for the people that are my friends prior to my transition.
“...I’m the same gender I’ve always been in my mind, but all this other stuff, on the outside, is really just conforming to how I already feel and have felt my entire life.
“People say, ‘Is this a choice?’ The choice is being healthy or sick. I can continue living a sick life, or I can live a healthy life. I find my trans experience has allowed me to relate to people, because all of us suffer, and I could relate to people’s suffering. I’m able to comfort people that feel isolated and lost and alone and broken. I can sit down with them and look them in the eyes, and say, ‘I can walk with you through this. I care about you, and I mean it.’”
Last weekend, she submitted a statement to the American Medical Association (AMA) asking that it take a stand in support of transgender troops.
On Monday, the AMA took her advice and the advice of many others, passing the resolution in question.
Read Buzzfeed's full interview with Henry HERE.
Earlier this week, we reported that The New York Times released a powerful short documentary about a transgender military couple, Air Force Senior Airman Logan Ireland and Cpl. Laila Villanueva, an Army nurse.
Watch the New York Times video, AFTER THE JUMP...