Growing up, Ashley Scott says he always felt “different” and excluded, feeling something didn’t quite fit with who he was. Now a retired disabled U.S. military veteran, and years after coming out as a transgender man, Ashley looks back on the journeys he’s had and realizes why he felt so different all those many years. After serving a full tour in Iraq, Ashley moved to Virginia and met a friend who was beginning his journey as a transgender male. When he told his story to Ashley, he says bells rung and he knew then what he had been feeling all these years finally had a name. He was born female but long understood that that didn’t quite fit – and so he transitioned to the man he has long known himself to be.
“It was only after my time in the service that I found out what ‘transgender’ really meant, and that fit completely with what I was feeling,” Ashley said. “There’s definitely more work to do, but the fact that we have a start is something to celebrate and will help educate a wider audience to see that being transgender doesn’t make us any less of a gender, a soldier, or a person.”