Kimberly Acoff knows what it feels like when your very humanity and dignity is up for public debate. That’s because Kimberly is a transgender woman – she was born and raised male but understood for a long time that that didn’t quite fit, and so she transitioned and now lives every day as the woman she has long known herself to be. Kimberly is also a veteran, having served in the Indiana National Guard for several years, before the Department of Defense lifted the ban on open service for transgender people. Now that President Trump is trying to once again ban transgender Americans from serving their country, Kimberly is finding herself revisiting the deeply unpleasant memories of when she had to hide who she was in order to serve her country.
“History has shown us that we are a group of strong individuals – I speak from a history of knowing transgender people growing up in my young adult life, and I know that we are resilient, and that the American people in general are good-hearted people for the most part,” she said. “When we restrict and roll back freedom for one group, we’re rolling back and restricting freedom for every American.”