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Staff Sgt Sabrina Bruce
Campobello, SC

Sabrina joined the Air Force in 2013 at the age of 22 with the intention of gaining a little bit of discipline in her life and finding a meaningful direction. Being a part of the military was something she’d always dreamed of, but wasn’t sure it would ever be an option for her because of her longtime understanding that while she was born male, she identified as female. Despite the concerns about joining, she did ultimately enlist and was able to build more confidence in herself than she ever dreamed of. In 2016, when Sabrina learned about the policy change that would allow open transgender military service, she knew she had to speak with her commanding officer about her identity.

She set up a meeting and was relieved to find support and understanding and was told how much value she brought to the unit. During a public address, Sabrina came out to her unit and was received warmly. “I want people to know that being transgender isn’t our sole identity,” she said. “It’s something we deal with and it’s very visible but it’s only a small part of us. We all have hopes, dreams, failures, and successes. But sometimes that gets lost in all the noise.”

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