Program 34: TransMilitary
Directed by Gabriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson
While tackling one of the more sadly relevant topics in today’s headlines, TransMilitary offers a plainspoken, gut-level examination of the current administration’s repeated attempts to ban all transgender troops from the U.S. Military. Gabriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson direct this eye-opening documentary that follows four diverse members from the U.S. Armed Forces as they make the case – and risk their careers – to promote a trans-inclusive policy during the waning years of the Obama Presidency and later amidst efforts by the 45th president’s administration to abolish all trace of transgender service members.
We currently employ an estimated 15,000 active trans service members. Naysayers rant about the prohibitive cost of treating transgender troops (estimated at $ 8.4 million). It is a striking fact, however, that they remain silent regarding the currently existing cost of treating erectile dysfunction among our troops at a whopping cost of $80 million! The argument that transgender personnel adversely affect “military readiness” due to the prohibitive cost of their medical need appears a bit flaccid by comparison.
Captains Jennifer Peace and El Cook along with Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland and Corporal Laila Villanueva make their case for inclusion before the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, and we’re offered a compact vignette of their lives and interactions with family, friends, and military peers. Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland is a familiar face within the trans community as a highly visible opponent to the ban on trans troops. The others may be less familiar but they have worked together advocating for a fully inclusive policy. Their stories are inspiring and the film presents a compelling case for the reality that banning 15,000 highly-trained and often decorated trans service members actually impairs our military as a whole.
TransMilitary is one of the most important documentaries to premiere this year, clearly portraying how inclusive policies can benefit our Armed Forces and society at large.
— Jennifer Morgan
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- GRAND JURY AWARD, DOCUMENTARY FEATURE SPECIAL MENTION – Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival
- GRAND JURY AWARD, BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – Florida Film Festival
- AUDIENCE AWARD, BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – SXSW Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Frameline San Francisco Int’l LGBTQ Film Festival