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New bill could stop transgender discrimination in the military

TJ Seguine.jpg
Posted at 4:59 PM, Apr 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-04 12:27:33-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A new Bill is on the table that would eliminate discrimination against transgender service members.

It's something that, if passed into law decades ago, could've altered TJ Seguine's military service.

"I love the Navy," Sequine said. "Don't know what I would do if I didn't serve my country. I think I would be completely lost."

He joined in 1995.

"I remember thinking to myself - once I'm in the Navy and I can get away from family or all the people I know here," he said. "I can change to make my outside match my inside."

Seguine said he always knew he was different.

"I remember laying in bed. I was probably eight years old and praying to God that I would wake up and be a boy," he said.

Although he loved his 10 years in the Navy, he couldn't be his authentic self.

At the time, Don't ask, Don't tell was in place. It was a policy that allowed the LGBTQ community to serve, but in secret, or they'd face separation from the military.

He vividly remembers a time he ran into his boss at a grocery store he was shopping at with his girlfriend.

"I was so scared that she would see me out at a grocery store with my partner that I ran out of the grocery store and hid in my car," he said.

He knew something needed to change, so he wrapped up his time in the Navy and worked at the brig as a civilian.

By the next year, he started his transition after a talk with his boss.

"I said, 'well, I really wanna be frank.' and from them, we went on with a conversation of what my transition journey would look like," he said.

The Ensuring Military Readiness Not Discrimination Act introduced by Congresswoman Sara Jacobs might've changed the course of his Navy career.

Jacobs says it would ensure that no harmful policies are back on the books.

"I think this is important for the future of the United States military not only because it's the right thing to do for the trans community," he said. "But it's incredibly important for our military readiness moving forward."

He said he would've continued his military career.

"The ten years I spent in the Navy were the first ten years that I actually excelled at something, and truthfully I don't think I had a commanding officer or executive officer or even a shipmate that really cared about my gender identity, my orientation," he said. "They just cared that I did my job."

Seguine wants to make it clear that his views don't represent the Department of Defense.