Air Force Lieutenant Colonel comes out as gender fluid via poignant Facebook post
Lieutenant Colonel B is one of many LGBT+ individuals serving in the United States military. For years, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy forced many queer soldiers and armed forces personnel to keep quiet about their true orientation, out of fear of reprisal and career-ending homophobia.
However, this culture of silence and repression changed forever in 2011, when President Barack Obama repealed DADT after the legislation was ruled to be unconstitutional. Then, in 2016 the Obama administration lifted the ban on transgender people serving in the military.
It was at this point that B, who used to go by the name Bryan Bree Fram, decided to make an important personal decision, and come out as genderfluid in a stirring Facebook post. B, who has been married to their wife Peg for more than 15 years, identifies as both transgender and non-binary.
Their spouse already knew about and supported their true orientation, but B in part decided to live openly to the world as a genderfluid person after the tragic massacre in the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando. Now B chooses to live as a man while at work, but refers to themselves as 'bigender' in their personal life.
B, who lives in New York state with their wife and two children, commented on their gender identity in a recent interview saying:
"I consider myself gender fluid, although the term bigender is fine with me too. Working in the military, the gender fluidity isn’t there. There’s the option to move from box A to box B, but not flit between them. So, I still present as a male at work, though my colleagues know I am transgender and I can talk openly about issues. Then, out of work, I can be my authentic self."
"Up until , a word in the ear of the wrong person, or a picture of me dressed as a woman seen by the wrong eyes could have cost me my career. But I had to be quiet and filter my words very carefully. I could have lost everything for a reason that was nothing to do with my ability to serve.
"I had spent years proving my commitment and showing what I could do for my country. But I had to be quiet and filter my words very carefully. It was painful to hide such a huge part of my life ...The day the ban was lifted though, I knew it was time to tell everybody who I truly was."
In an emotional Facebook post, B announced their truth, writing:
"I want to share something with all of you: I’m transgender. I’ve known I was trans since an early age though I struggled to find the courage to admit what it meant to me and how I could, and would, express myself. I consider myself gender-fluid, though the term bi-gender is also fitting.
"I could be happy living as a man, or happy living as a woman, but I don’t think either is the full-time answer for me. I know that I’m happiest and most fulfilled as a human when I get to express all aspects of who I am. It also means that I don’t have plans to transition medically or to present any differently at work but that I no longer have any reason to hide who I am. Being Bryan has never felt wrong to me, and Bryan will never go away, it’s just not all of who I am."
"Day-to-day, this doesn’t really change much in how I live my life ... Thank you all for your friendship over the years. I am truly lucky to have all of you. We are friends here for a reason and I sincerely hope that reason hasn’t changed because I enjoy having you all in my life. I look forward to continuing to share the joy in my life with all of you. Above all, I remain a happy and committed husband, father, son, brother, and Airman. I’m proud of all those roles; I just happen to be a bit more."
B and Peg now hope that by speaking out, they can inspire other couples to navigate the transitioning process, and encourage other LGBT+ people to accept themselves.