Transgender people are banned from serving in the United States Armed Forces. If they are discovered, they can be fired.
Whereas at least thirteen countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom, allow transgender people to serve in their military.
It is time to end this discrimination.
TransMilitary is a reality series showcasing the contrast between U.S. transgender military personnel serving under the threat of discharge, while their U.K. counterparts serve openly as equals within their armed forces.
Every single dollar that exceeds our goal gets us closer to the big guns! Our total budget is $160,000. So if we go over $8,000 please don't be shy! We will actually put every penny we get to achieving equality.
This will be the first, and to our knowledge, only media that compares and contrasts transgender military equality in the United States with our close ally, the United Kingdom or any other international military force.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) banned lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) Americans from serving openly in the nation’s military. The law addressed sexual orientation, but not gender identity. The repeal of DADT in 2010 had no effect on transgender service members who still today serve in silence. It has and continues to be legal to ask if a person is transgender and fire them. However, the U.K. has accepted transgender service members since 1999, before they even authorized LGB personnel to serve. The story will be told through contrasting struggles, captured on film, through interviews and life events of six transgender service members and their families in the context of their country.
It is estimated that up to 10,000 transgender individuals are actively serving but as there is such fear of being exposed, and fired, many thousands more are probably closeted. We have very strong relationships with active U.S. transgender military personnel who are willing to put their career on the line to be featured openly, on-camera in TransMilitary. Further, we are working closely with U.S. and U.K. organizations and individuals to develop the most compelling storyline.
Hosted by Fiona Dawson who unabashedly asks questions and connects with people from all walks of life, transforming a serious topic into a unique, dynamic and personal exploration.
Protagonists: There will be three U.S. and three U.K. actively serving military personnel, whose exciting and intriguing lives will be followed. Subjects are currently being assessed, but will include action-orientated coverage including flying with a helicopter pilot serving in the U.K.'s Royal Air Force. This will present a sharp contrast as the U.S. subjects could be discharged for speaking honestly about who they are. In addition to the six primary protagonists, other actively serving and veteran individuals from various countries will be interviewed and their sound bites used to color the narrative. Cisgender people (those who identify with their gender assigned at birth) will also be portrayed to demonstrate commonalities between them and their transgender peers.
Gregory Rae, Executive Producer; Fiona Dawson, Host/Producer; Tyrus Emory, Producer; Mike Cruz, Producer; Zeke Stokes, Associate Producer; Allyson Robinson, Principal Consultant; Matt Grant, Director of Photography
Who are the people making TransMilitary?
We are transgender, we are cisgender, we are lesbian, we are gay, we are bisexual, we are trans allies who want to make the world a better place.
Gregory Rae (Executive Producer):
Gregory Rae is a Tony Award® winning producer based in New York. His theatrical credits include KINKY BOOTS (2013 Tony Award), CLYBOURNE PARK (2012 Tony Award), BARE (off-Broadway), and THE NORMAL HEART (2011 Tony Award). He is an executive producer of the films THE GOLDFISH, CLUTTER, THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING, and FAMILY REMAINS, and co-executive producer of THE GREEN. He joined Carl White as a partner in Martian Entertainment LLC in 2013. His upcoming projects include ALLEGIANCE and A TIME TO KILL.
Gregory graduated from Harvey Mudd College in 2000 with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. He worked at Google as a software engineer in charge of log analysis until 2006. After leaving Google, he got involved in politics as one of the national leaders of Living Liberally, and has advised several campaigns for marriage equality around the country. In 2008, he was the technical lead for the No On Proposition 8 campaign in California, and in 2010 he served as treasurer of Fight Back New York, a political action committee that successfully targeted three state senators who had voted against marriage equality. Gregory serves on the board of trustees of Harvey Mudd College, The Tank, is a member of the National Leadership Council of Lambda Legal, and is an associate member of The Broadway League.
Fiona Dawson (Host & Producer):
Fiona Dawson is a British native and American citizen with global reach in humanitarian endeavors. Her mission is to speak from the largest, loudest platform to advocate for human equality. She hosts and produces visual media content to realize a world with equal rights, respect and responsibility.
Having graduated from the University of Essex, U.K. in 1998 with a BSc in Psychology, Fiona spent six-months volunteering in rural Bangladesh and teaching English for a year in Portugal. Her early career was in Houston, Texas in resource development, marketing and communications for nonprofit organizations. In addition to other accolades, she was elected Female Grand Marshal of the Houston LGBT Pride Parade and served on the National Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign. Her time in Texas culminated in working for a bank’s corporate social responsibility department leading diversity & inclusion and volunteer programs.
Having conceived and produced a demo for a TV show looking at positive ways people are working to end stigma and discrimination, Fiona raised $20,000 on Kickstarter and filmed a pilot show in India on sex-trafficking, prostitution and HIV/AIDS. After moving to New York in 2012, she was a fundraiser for the United Negro College Fund, provided social media marketing for a mobile devices distribution company and hosted segments for hereTV during the Republican and Democratic conventions. Fiona serves on the Board of Directors for the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association and works in both New York City and Los Angeles.
Tyrus Emory (Producer):
Tyrus is Executive Vice President of Television & New Media at Martian Entertainment in New York. He graduated in 2008 from Pitzer College, one of the Claremont Colleges, with a degree in theatre and ethnomusicology. He was the anchor and managing editor of the 6pm news at KSPC Radio with a focus on human interest and local news. He has directed a several of projects across various media including a multi-media/theatrical production of Oedipus Rex at the Sontag Greek Theatre in 2007.
In 2009, he joined the Bloomberg Mayoral campaign as a strategist, and from there was hired at WNBC as a local news desk assistant. From desk assistant for the local WNBC station in New York City, he was promoted to researcher then lead researcher in 2010 at the International Desk where he sourced international stories for broadcast. He has worked as a field producer, consulting producer, and director of several independent projects, including the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for HereTV, and For & Against With Jim Morrison. Tyrus is interested in the intersection of traditional and new media and how they can be combined to tell immersive and interactive stories.
Michael Cruz (Producer):
Zeke Stokes (Associate Producer & Media Guru):
Zeke Stokes is a communications and public affairs professional with nearly two decades of experience managing political and nonprofit initiatives, building relationships, crafting winning messages, and executing effective message delivery. He currently serves as director of outreach at Media Matters, a web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
Before joining Media Matters, Zeke was communications director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network - and then director of external relations at the new OutServe-SLDN - where he played a key role advancing LGBT military equality and defeating the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Prior, he managed his own firm, consulting for a variety of political, nonprofit, corporate and governmental clients in the areas of public relations, development, and communications, including the South Carolina Department of Education, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and a variety of political campaigns at the local, state, and federal level. During that time, he led Jim Rex, a previously unknown public school educator, to become the only Democrat elected to statewide office in South Carolina in the 2006 election cycle. In addition, he was a key fundraiser for the television documentary, America's Iliad: The Siege of Charleston, which debuted on PBS in 2007.
He is a former publicist for the March of Dimes national office in White Plains, NY, and is a native of South Carolina, where he began his career at age 19 as the youngest director of communications for a State Democratic Party in the country.
Allyson Robinson (Principal Consultant):
A nationally respected and award winning leader in organizational diversity and inclusion strategy, Allyson Robinson helps leaders and the organizations they lead discover, refine, and live into their values. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN, leading the organization's staff and its over 6,500 volunteers in its mission to empower, support, and defend our military's LGBT community while working to build a culture of inclusion in the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. She was the first transgender person to lead a national LGBT civil rights organization in the U.S.
A native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Robinson is a 1994 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she majored in physics. After receiving her commission as an officer in the U.S. Army, she commanded PATRIOT missile units in the United States, Germany and Saudi Arabia. She also worked as a senior trainer/evaluator for NATO and as an advisor to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. Robinson resigned her commission in 1999 to pursue a calling to Christian ministry. She served as pastor-teacher to churches on two continents, focusing her ministry work on raising awareness of systemic poverty and organizing community-based responses to it. She earned a master of divinity degree in theology with a capstone emphasis in social justice from Baylor University in 2007. Prior to her work leading OutServe-SLDN, she held various leadership positions at the Human Rights Campaign.
Robinson lives with her wife and their four children in Gaithersburg, Md.
We are asking for $8,000
Our total budget is $160,000. But just $8,000 will push us into full production. Funds will be spent on research & development and pitching to media broadcasters. Every dollar is a vote of confidence for TransMilitary and gets us another step forward in our quest for transgender equality in America's military.
Thank you so much for your support.