Navy Couple Recounts Tough Decisions

From Out Serve:

Morgan Wade’s Transition and Reenlistment

On February 7, 2013

Reserve recruiters dream of people like Morgan Wade walking into their office. She had a sterling service record, was on the fast track to chief petty officer, and qualified in a field where the demand for skilled individuals is high. Top it off with a clear background check and a clean bill of health, and it should be easy, right?

The problem: Morgan Wade is female now, but that is not what was on her original birth certificate. It wasn’t what was in her records when she joined the Navy. Even before she joined the Navy, though, Morgan was already dealing with gender dysphoria. She treated it as something chronic but manageable.

“The first time I figured out I had body image issues was actually before I joined the Navy, though at that point I didn’t know what it was or meant,” she said. “I just tried to ignore it. At that moment in my life, I didn’t know what I could do other than just try to deal with it the way I always had.”

Joining the Navy

Morgan’s father, Mark, saw someone looking for a calling and not just a job. “Diving is Morgan’s passion,” he said. “She was not happy at Chico College and spent her summer vacation on our sofa just watching TV. When we told her to go out and get a job, she went to military recruiters and decided on the Navy… Morgan found the dive program and pushed for that.”

Morgan saw a great opportunity: “I wanted money for school and needed some time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.”

When it came to her dysphoria, she counted on her newfound endurance. There were hard times early in her Navy career, but those hardships also reinforced her confidence in her own abilities. “At my first command, I was treated so badly, and hazing was such a regular thing that I sort of figured that if I could survive that, I could deal with my own personal issues.”

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2 Responses to “Navy Couple Recounts Tough Decisions”

  1. SA-ET Says:

    Some things just don’t make sense…this is one of them.

    • Suzan Says:

      While there are numerous things I would never think of doing, I am aware that I too have done numerous things in my life other people would have a hard time understanding my doing.

      People are different. I may not understand why LGBT people would want to join a military, any nations military, they do just like straight people and people of color do, or for that matter women. Even though the military is something that discriminates against all those aforementioned groups.

      Perhaps it is like the Nisei and Sansei Japanese American who joined the military and fought heroically during World War II; in spite of their parents being in concentration camps.

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