Transgender Marine Aaron Wixson is coming out under military's new trans policy

Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

Being who you are while serving in the armed forces is now much easier — and Aaron Wixson's story proves it. 

Lance Cpl. Aaron Wixson is one of the first transgender men to serve openly in the Marines, according to a CNN profile.

Aaron Wixson
Source: 
Facebook

"I will feel that I am finally seen as who I really am," Wixson told CNN about going public with his transition. 

In June, the Pentagon announced it would lift the ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military. On Oct. 1, the government published its transgender policy and as of that date, transgender people serving in the military would be able to access health care to help them transition. 

U.S. military transgender policy
Source: 
Defense.gov

Wixson, an Oklahoma native, will be able to change his name and gender in the Department of Defense database, as well as adhere to a male dress code and use men's facilities once he completes his treatment plan, CNN reported. CNN did not disclose Wixson's exact treatment plan.

The New York Times reported in May that about 2,450 of the 1.2 million people serving in the U.S. military identify as transgender. The Times also reported that paying for these would cost the military between $2.9 million and $4.5 million per year. The military currently spends $6 billion a year on medical care. 

Wixson said he hopes to get a bilateral mastectomy — what many in the trans community call "top surgery" — before May. He has also filed an "exception to policy" request to begin using male-designated facilities and wear a men's uniform before then. 

Wixson said the military's response has been encouraging. 

"They've worked very, very hard to get me the help I need and help me get through this process," he told CNN. "I'm very lucky and grateful for their support."

Col. Walker Field, Wixson's commanding officer, told CNN the Marines are "lucky to have such talent in our ranks." 

"Every Marine in this command deserves the very best opportunity to reach his or her full potential, including Lance Cpl. Wixson," Field said. "Enabling Lance Cpl. Wixson to openly serve as a transgender Marine necessarily increases readiness and broadens the overall talent of the organization."

Wixson said he is "really grateful" to be able to serve in the Marines as an openly transgender man. 

"When you get to be yourself you're a much more effective member of the team," he said to CNN.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew Rodriguez is a Staff Writer at Mic. He is a queer Latino New Yorker who enjoys female rappers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Flannery O'Connor. He is a former editor at TheBody.com and he is working on a memoir.

MORE FROM

Alton Sterling’s children sue Baton Rouge over shooting, alleging racism and excessive force

The Sterling family alleges that police officers sent racist text messages about people who protested the black man's shooting death.

3 Chicago officers charged with conspiracy in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald

The three Chicago police officers allegedly conspired to prevent an independent investigation and prosecution against Officer Jason Van Dyke.

Video shows officer threatening black man for jaywalking without an ID

The officer is not currently under investigation.

Black teens handcuffed for selling water on National Mall are now getting job offers

"I feel like it was a bad situation turned into a good situation."

3 of the Central Park 5 men just received honorary high school diplomas

All of the men in the Central Park Five will receive the diplomas they were denied after their wrongful convictions as teenagers.

Another sign marking a scene from Emmett Till's murder has been vandalized

It's at least the second time in the past year a sign marking Till's murder has been vandalized.

Alton Sterling’s children sue Baton Rouge over shooting, alleging racism and excessive force

The Sterling family alleges that police officers sent racist text messages about people who protested the black man's shooting death.

3 Chicago officers charged with conspiracy in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald

The three Chicago police officers allegedly conspired to prevent an independent investigation and prosecution against Officer Jason Van Dyke.

Video shows officer threatening black man for jaywalking without an ID

The officer is not currently under investigation.

Black teens handcuffed for selling water on National Mall are now getting job offers

"I feel like it was a bad situation turned into a good situation."

3 of the Central Park 5 men just received honorary high school diplomas

All of the men in the Central Park Five will receive the diplomas they were denied after their wrongful convictions as teenagers.

Another sign marking a scene from Emmett Till's murder has been vandalized

It's at least the second time in the past year a sign marking Till's murder has been vandalized.