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Transgender Veteran Reflects On Life As A Marine, Her Transition And Trump's Tweets

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Ana Perez/KERA News
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Nicole Lynn Perry served in active duty from 2008 to 2013.

It's been a tough week for the transgender community. The Texas Senate passed a so-called bathroom bill regulating public restroom use for transgender Texans. The next day, President Trump tweeted that he'd like to ban transgender people from serving in the military.  

Though the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told military leaders there would no changes to current policy for now, Nicole Lynn Perry says the president's statement is "very disheartening."

A transgender woman and Marine veteran, Perry served for five years in active duty and left in order to transition.

"I had an inkling at the time that I was [transgender], but I didn't know what it was," she said. It wasn't until 2012 that she could put a name to what she was feeling.  

In this Friday Conversation, Perry also discusses:

  • Why she enlisted
  • Coming to terms with her identity
  • Her experience in the Marines as a transgender person 
Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and KERANews.org. She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.
Rick Holter is KERA's vice president of news. He oversees news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News has earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.