With Honor and Integrity

Transgender Troops in Their Own Words
New York Univ.. Nov. 2021. 232p. ed. by Máel Embser-Herbert & Bree Fram. ISBN 9781479801039. $28. Social Science
An exquisite book about serving in the U.S. military as a transgender person, edited by Embser-Herbert (sociology, Hamline Univ.; Camouflage Isn’t Only for Combat) and Fram (Lt. Col., U.S. Space Force), with just enough historical and sociological context to make the volume’s personal stories that much more meaningful. The topic at hand seems narrow, but the book’s presentation makes it broadly applicable to the entire discipline of transgender studies. It begins with a discussion of terms and history, followed by 26 essays by transgender service members and veterans. These essays are the core of the book; each evinces that there is no universal trans experience. The contributors are of diverse gender identities, sexual orientations, races, and military backgrounds. The first section, devoted to essays by older veterans (including a colonel in her early 70s), is appropriately titled “Serving in Silence”; the essays in the other sections are from active-duty troops. The editors conclude by considering the future and bringing some of the stories up to date.

VERDICT A simple description can’t do justice to the beauty, elegance, and courage displayed here. Readers will want to meet and spend time with these contributors. A worthwhile collection, highly recommended for all readers.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing