My name is Riley Dosh, and I graduated this past May. Although I met all the requirements (as male) for commissioning, I was instead discharged by the Pentagon. I was featured recently in USA Today, the NYT, and the BBC. Also here is proof of my status as first openly trans graduate

Verifcation Pic <- 7 weeks HRT if you're curious

I'll check in from time to time to answer any more questions/PMs. Otherwise I'll be off playing Euro Truck 2 or something. My username is my gamertag too, if anybody wants to find me.

Comments: 316 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

wannabe_pixie66 karma

How did your fellow cadets treat you after you came out?

Ms_Riley_Guprz148 karma

In person, pretty good. Even some of the more conservatives ones made humorous attempts to ask me about my dress.

Anonymously and on social media, pretty horrible. Take all the worst comments you see here and multiple it by ten.

despisedlove256 karma

Just curious. Why did you go to West Point, knowing what the military policy is? Did you discover yourself while there, or did you go there hoping to be discharged?

Ms_Riley_Guprz99 karma

I came out to myself junior year at West Point. Had I known before I came, I wouldn't have gone. Afterwards, knowing the outcome, I'd still would do the whole thing over again. West Point is an amazing opportunity no matter your background.

And I absolutely did not want to be discharged. When the issue of a medical waiver first came up, the superintendent offered to deny it for me, thereby giving me what cadets call the "golden handshake" - leaving the academy with no service obligation. I immediately turned him down. I legitimately wanted, and still do, to become an Air Defense Artillery officer. The decision was taken out of his hands at some point in March/April and the Pentagon decided to deny the waiver. I had the full support of the West Point chain of command and the post surgeon.

Pierce097 karma

Gross, Air Defense sucks ass except for C-RAM

Ms_Riley_Guprz4 karma

I'm more of a THAAD girl myself

[deleted]0 karma

[removed]

Ms_Riley_Guprz1 karma

#SAAD

Coronis1250 karma

Given the chance to do it over, would you have postponed your transition?

Ms_Riley_Guprz100 karma

My transition was postponed actually until I left the military. I tried* starting as a cadet and that's what prompted the whole issue. It was my diagnosis of gender dysphoria that caused me to be [honorably] discharged.

Although to answer your question, no I would not have waited on coming out. I wanted my classmates to remember me by who I really am, for better or for worse. Had I hid, I would've come out cynical and depressed.

EDIT: * and by "tried as a cadet" I mean I tried to have it approved. I didn't start any hormones until I graduated.

Gigadweeb6 karma

It was my diagnosis of gender dysphoria that caused me to be [honorably] discharged

what the fuck?

Ms_Riley_Guprz5 karma

Yeah the only thing that made me different than my peers was that diagnosis. I hadn't taken any medication and I still was going by male standards. I completed every requirement.

Gigadweeb1 karma

Oh fucking hell. Sucks that they do that kind of shit. Have your fellow graduates been supportive? I'd hope people at least have the decency to do that.

Ms_Riley_Guprz1 karma

The ones I've talk to were (except for my cadet ex), although certainly not all of them. There was a ton of backlash on social media (anonymously) though. I have some screenshots but it's too late now to post them on here for any effect. Vice News might publish them when they get around to writing their article about me.

JhawkFilms39 karma

Hi! My brother graduated last year from West Point, so might I say congratulations on sticking through! I've read a lot of posts on this thread either criticizing or making fun of you for being trans, but I think what you did was incredibly brave and I applaud you with the highest praise I can give. My only question is what are you planning on doing now?

Ms_Riley_Guprz44 karma

Thank you!

As for what I plan on doing: There's a slim slim chance I could still commission since my case is being reviewed separately than the DoD policy, but I'm not relying on it.

Apart from that, I just got dumped last night, so if it weren't for family nearby, I'd be unemployed and homeless right now. Looking at joining some tech company or political campaign as a data analyst because that's my background. Eventually I want to become a teacher.

CodyCus33 karma

First off, congrats on being your self and not letting others stifle that. That's awesome. As someone who just recently came out to all my friends and family, I applaud you.

Now then, why does the status of you being discharged, was that directly because you are trans, or was there another reason?

Ms_Riley_Guprz31 karma

It was almost entirely because of being transgender. The other bit was the politics about allowing the policy to go forward, a debate we're seeing play out right now

IKingJeremy23 karma

How would you describe your experience at West Point?

Ms_Riley_Guprz50 karma

Honestly I didn't mind it as much as a lot of people. Parts about it suck, but it's mostly great because you can rely on everyone around you.

EDIT: I actually want to come back to this for a second because I have a lot more feelings wrapped up about my experience there than a few sentences can explain.

I met some of the best people in this world there. I also met some of the worst people. I've seen rapists graduate and also people kicked out for the stupidest of things. There are massive highs and lows there, but just about everyone is extremely capable and self-driven. Although I can't say much about the cadets that ate C4 a few days ago...

EDIT2: I just now realized you may have been asking how my experience being trans at West Point. It's much the same as above, with the highs and lows; mostly lows. I was not allowed to wear female clothes on post (which is everywhere since there isn't much off-post) and no makeup ever, also keeping my hair short. It was simply part of the male regs that I had to follow, and it sucked. There were very little places I could go to be me and so it was incredibly stifling in that regard.

mtownsend11718 karma

Can you blame them? It looks so good. I definitely had a taste the first time I got ahold of it. 2/10 would not recommend.

Ms_Riley_Guprz22 karma

I'm told it tastes like marshmallows

KaptainKarmichael16 karma

Congrats, I'm sure going to Westpoint was an incredible opportunity! My first question might be a bit cliche, but what advice would you have for someone that is really starting to question their gender and has been putting serious thought into transitioning? And secondly, just out of curiosity, what branch of the military would you have gone into, had you not been discharged? Thanks in advance!

Ms_Riley_Guprz25 karma

I'll answer the military branch first because it's easier.

Cadets from West Point commission into the the Army. In my case, it would've been the Air Defense Artillery branch of the Army. It's like the Naval academy and Air Force academy. West Point is called the military academy simply because it came first. Although some cadets do cross-commission into other branches. I have a friend that became a Marine officer, and there's usually one every other year that joins the Navy in hopes of becoming a SEAL.

Advice for someone questioning, I'm going to word it in the second person: simply put, nobody can make that decision to transition or not, except you. It's entirely personal and entirely up to you. It's not an easy path either, far from it, but it has its rewards. It comforted me to know that there are transgender individuals that don't transition either, and that I have options to live my life how I want to live it. If you like wearing dresses, regardless of your gender, wear dresses. If you want to wear a suit and tie, wear it. It doesn't have to conform to your identity and visa versa. You may not really mind the pronouns you currently use, but you might enjoy using the other pronouns a whole lot more, who knows?

It wasn't until I met another transgender woman (my own age) and saw how alike we were and that I fully identified with being trans. The advice she gave me was that at some point you just learn to not give a fuck what other people think about you. Even being trans I dress boyishly (exhibit A: my verification pic) because that's what I'm comfortable wearing. I just so happen to prefer female pronouns as well. That advice seemed silly to me in the beginning but it's made a lot more sense as I've gone out in public more. Hopefully that helps.

KaptainKarmichael8 karma

That does help a lot, and give me some more to think about, thank you! And I wasn't aware thats how it worked, all I really know about West Point is it's a military academy xD I was thinking of joining the Army myself, once I get my GED. Would they discharge me or keep me from joining if I was transitioning or had transitioned?

Ms_Riley_Guprz16 karma

Well you know that West Point is a military academy so that's more than my high school guidance department.

With the current policy, you would simply be barred from joining, in the same way that I was. Hopefully that changes next year. It was supposed to happen by July 1st but was postponed 6 months.

DocLeWolfe15 karma

What are your hobbies?

Ms_Riley_Guprz33 karma

Whatever normal nerd hobbies. Pretty decent with Rubik's cubes too. I also do math as a hobby, so that's probably the most messed up part about me.

EDIT: I might continue to edit this as I come up with more things and get more clever. Steam games are pretty sweet; I exclusively do PC gaming. Memorizing pi has also been a hobby of mine. Last summer I managed to recite some 600 digits, but I couldn't do that right now.

NihilisticNomes15 karma

Will your case be setting a precedent for how trans people are treated by the military?

Ms_Riley_Guprz34 karma

Yes and no, and it already has. In all other cases, medical waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis. For this, mine and the Air Force cadet (and I think a ROTC cadet)'s medical waivers were decided as a blanket-case. They denied all of us because they didn't want to just let one through.

Further, but lesserso, it should clarify the legal standing of cadets. Technically service academy cadets are active duty and if they earn an honorable discharge as a cadet (like I was), they're officially a veteran. So while the transgender policy was supposed to cover all active duty, cadets were left out because there's a contention between treating them as basic-trainees or active-service.

As for how this might affect other transgender service members? I'm not really sure it will have much impact. The policy is already in place and it isn't going to change anytime soon. My classmates that are joining the Army soon will have their impression of transgender service largely based on me. If I get discharged for it, the more conservatives ones might take that as a license to treat their transgenders soldiers shittily. Hopefully that's not the case.

redsectoreh12 karma

How do you stay positive?

Ms_Riley_Guprz23 karma

Friends and family. They are the best support group out there and they can help you through anything.

Apart from that, I try to find something that I'm good at and remember that I have value because I know there's something I'm half-way decent at.

pm_me_weird_jokes10 karma

I know that if you don't finish you have to repay your tuition. Do you have to repay the government for your West Point education? Thanks for doing this, btw.

Ms_Riley_Guprz30 karma

No, that's only if you are separated/expelled, and only if it happens in your junior/senior years.

If anyone feels like I've now cheated the government of a good education, then they're missing two things:

  1. Usually it's the same people that say I shouldn't serve anyways, and so a contradiction.
  2. Even those that do not commission (about a dozen or two each year out of a class of ~1,000), they're still giving back to society with the lessons they've learned. The country as a whole improves.

pm_me_weird_jokes11 karma

Thanks for the answer. I didn't mean to imply that you are cheating the government. I wish you well!

Ms_Riley_Guprz17 karma

Yeah I was more responding to anybody that reads my reply and takes issue with it. It's a fairly common complaint among my more negative peers.

manginahunter709 karma

Would you consider yourself to be officer/soldier material? Do you think you could go to war?

Ms_Riley_Guprz12 karma

100%

aardy7 karma

My knowledge of military admission standards is about 15 years old, I was in boot camp on 9/11.

When I was being recruited, I asked a bunch of questions about why so-and-so with such-and-such couldn't join.

I was told that diabetics couldn't join because of their known need for constant ongoing medicine. Asthmatics, same thing. Why take this liability on, when that potential recruit over there comes with no expensive medical baggage?

People that are known to be smokers, I'm certain, will be prohibited from joining within the next ten years for that same basic reason.

It makes sense.

It's got a logic to it.

If we envision a simplified military of 10 grunts per 70 pogues, banning smokers will let 1 truck in that 10 truck supply convoy not be loaded with nicotine stuff for the smokers that makes it's way to the PX in Baghdad. Great, put a rifle in that person's hands and send them to the infantry. That means we now have 11 grunts per 69 pogues, and just increased lethality by 10%! Fuck yeah, ban the smokers! (am a smoker btw)

Similarly, if we suppose that we let diabetics in, then we need 1 person who is an expert on diabetic medicine. Well, that sucks. We now have only 9 grunts, and 71 pogues because someone needs to be the expert of diabetic medicine. Not just for the 9 grunts, but the entire unit of 80 people (many of whom are now diabetic...) has that need that now must be filled. We've decreased our lethality by 10%!

Either way, of course, we will accomplish the mission and win the battle, but one scenario (smokers banned) is likely to have fewer casualties than the other scenario (diabetics allowed) because of that 20% difference in helping bodies hit the floor and looking out for each other (or you swap out smokers for diabetics, and it's a wash...).

That is obviously a simplified model. As someone smarter than me once said, "all models are wrong, but some models are useful." Unless we think that things like cigarettes or Private Smith's Extra Special Diabetes Medicine Just For Him appears in the Green Zone PX via magic, I would submit that someone had to drive or fly them to the Green Zone. Which makes that model useful, even if we could quibble over my simplified numbers.

So, questions...

How far off are we from trans persons not being in that same logistical bucket as diabetics or smokers?

It goes without saying that if, after investing a crap ton of resources, training, money, etc, we discover a medical condition, that we should not automatically discharge that person without doing a cost/benefit analysis. But what would your answer be to a solider that can only be at 100% if they have a steady supply of very specific diabetes medicine, that is particular to them and only them, or they simply aren't able to function as a leader, be fulfilled / operational as a person, or be an effective and sufficiently brutal slayer of the enemy, if this is known at the initial point of recruitment?

In your case, the gov't has dumped a bunch of money / time / energy / training / resources into you, so it seems like a waste to kick you out at this point TBH (I pay taxes, god damn it, and that was a waste of 4 years of money). But let us suppose you'd discovered yourself far earlier, and disclosed this. Should we let that person in, knowing they are bringing that baggage with them?

How do we reconcile this all together?

Can we really say "yes" to the trans folks, but "no" to the diabetics, smokers, and asthmatics?

Ms_Riley_Guprz7 karma

These are legitimate questions that we on both sides have to address.

How far off are we from trans persons not being in that same logistical bucket as diabetics or smokers?

So the major difference between a diabetic and a transgender individual is that the former does need constant surveillance to remain healthy. Hormones, however, are much simpler. Currently intravenous medication is not allowed in CENTCOM, so soldiers (for simplicity I won't say sailors and marines too) have to take pills or some have a patch. These are usually daily things, just like a dietary pill - and a patch requires no maintenance. If we did allow needles, those are only weekly. And with all of this, if a soldier misses a dose, it's not a big deal. If they miss a month of treatment, it's still not that much of a game changer, although they might get hot flashes.

However we are more than capable as a military to avoid these things. The point being, nobody is going to collapse on a patrol because they didn't take their hormones that day. So to directly answer your question, it's not really the same thing as diabetics or smoking because it doesn't fit either scenario in your model. It's actually closer to requiring glasses, but I won't go down that analogy because this already a long post. And if you really want to play with the model, consider banning trans-service and you might be down a grunt and/or a pog which either leaves you same lethality or down 10%. Either way it's a loss.

can only be at 100% if they have a steady supply of very specific diabetes medicine, that is particular to them and only them.

So hormones are already supplied to all pharmacies. They're given as prescriptions for all sorts of things and we already have the specialists in the Army that cover that kind of health care. So in fact, we don't have to get any additional specializations. The number of pogs is still the same. As for the steady stream, I addressed that above.

it seems like a waste to kick you out at this point.

Yeah, it abso-fucking-lutely is a waste. Although there are about a dozen or two people every year (from a class of ~1,000) that are grad non-commission, so it's not unheard of. I'll still be able to give back to the American society the values and leadership I learned so it's actually not that wasteful, but the Army isn't getting any benefit so it's a waste from the military's standpoint.

Should we let that person in[?]

As I've mentioned, it's not that much baggage to let them in. The estimated cost of trans-healthcare is $5.6 million per year, and it allows some 2,000-15,000 soldiers to stay in and possibly recruit more (transgender individuals are twice as likely to join relative to the population). However, at the same time, we have the money to spend $300 million to recruit an additional 6,000 soldiers (to the Army alone). So the cost is marginal - a rounding error amount. Although fun fact: the military has no idea how much it costs to fully train a soldier. They've tried doing analysis and they can't find a number. I had a stats teacher (a LTC) who worked on one of those studies. Not sure if that's a pro or con to my argument, but I felt like adding it.

How do we reconcile this all together?

18 other countries (I won't be pedantic and list them), including Argentina and Israel allow transgender service and full coverage of health care costs. Granted, in Israel's case this is partly because they have conscription and they don't want to let transgender individuals get out of that, but they have no issue paying for their health care too. So if these 18 countries, allies that we work with already in Afghanistan and other places, can make it work, I don't see why the greatest military in world history can't figure it out too.

Fecklessnz-3 karma

Being transgender isn't a medical condition thanks.

Ms_Riley_Guprz7 karma

While the identity of being transgender is not a medical condition, I will grant that gender dysphoria absolutely is - and a psychiatric condition at that. The distinction is that GD is not a mental illness because it is not debilitating, but simply is a fixable thorn in your side.

cassiebrighter6 karma

Would you be open to me interviewing you for my blog?

Ms_Riley_Guprz12 karma

Probably. PM me and we can talk about it!

Trackballer6 karma

Do you feel like your transition is more from a desire/need/want/actually feeling that your a woman, or from a mental illness/general depression and a search for happiness? I only ask because I've had several friends in college who were trans, but all of them had some mental illness that was apparent even to a layman, and I never wanted to risk my friendship w/ them to ask them if they were trans because they felt like a woman (all were man to female trans) or because they had some other unaddressed issue. Thanks!

Ms_Riley_Guprz4 karma

I am a woman, and I'm just trying to change my appearance to try and convince you of that - and therefore treat me as such. Yeah I had depression too, but at least around the time of coming out it was wrapped up in a nasty breakup so it's confusing.

I don't have any mental illness, and I hate when people claim undiagnosed things like OCD, ADHD etc. I might get some flak from people about this but I consider it playing the victim, and thereby decreasing the importance of people who have a diagnosis of those things. There's a certain subgroup of people where the more disabled or disadvantaged you are, the more of a hero you become. While that's not entirely untrue, it is if you start claiming all sorts of undiagnosed things. People can convince themselves of the craziest of things.

Now to separate myself from that last statement, gender dysphoria is an established medical condition with proven treatment methods. While you can absolutely suffer from GD without a diagnosis, it's a lot more subtle in appearance than, say, OCD. So the distinction is harder to make out. Although in all cases, the best course of action is not to put down someone's identity and take everyone at face value. See: transtrenders.

diaryofamentalmommy6 karma

So how old were you when you knew you were a woman?

What was the first thing you did after you were discharge?

Ms_Riley_Guprz15 karma

I've known I was/wanted to be a girl all my life. I didn't have the language to describe the feeling until I was at the academy, mainly because that's when I started looking up trans topics. I started identifying as transgender in the spring of my junior year at West Point (before the ban on trans service was lifted).

Well my discharge came concurrently with my graduation, so the first thing I did was meet my family and then gather up the last of my stuff. I went to see some friends commission, and then drove away. Nothing uniquely civilian until long after, I guess. I got my ears pierced, so there's that.

diaryofamentalmommy6 karma

Thanks so much for your answers. I ask because I am bisexual and had that moment of, "wow I like girls. I like boys."

Haha@the ear piercing thing. I live in South Texas and that is a right of being female so I seriously laughedl

Ms_Riley_Guprz4 karma

Well I live near Austin so it's kinda a necessity

ajuicyjuicebox6 karma

I am aware that the DoD recently published new guidelines regarding the treatment of transgender individuals in the military, to go into effect on July 1st, 2017. Is your case currently being reviewed in light of these newly-passed guidelines?

Ms_Riley_Guprz7 karma

The DoD's policy came out in October of 2016, 90 days after the repeal of the ban on trans service. The July 1, 2017 policy concerns new recruits (and me). That has been delayed 6 months until 2018.

I'm told my case is being dealt with separately, but it was partly because that the policy had not been finalized that I was denied a commission.

Vandechoz2 karma

Ms_Riley_Guprz4 karma

That's the original policy release from June/July 2016. It's been updated since.

ninaplays5 karma

Given that the US military will not currently accept openly trans servicemembers, why did you choose to go to West Point? Was it a statement, or a hope that with the fall of DADT we'd get full service rights in relatively short order? Did you just really like their curriculum? Did you realize you were trans while you were there, and simply choose to transition knowing it would cut short your military career but feeling it better to be true to who you are?

Ms_Riley_Guprz8 karma

West Point is a full 4 year university. I did not know that I was trans when I arrived, and I genuinely liked the place. I didn't identify as transgender until the spring of my junior year, which was also before the repeal of the ban on transgender service. Still though, I didn't come out to anyone but friends until that December, after the policy for active service had been rolled out. I thought that, as active service, I would be allowed to transition and commission. My command at West Point supported this, so I did not feel I had to worry, however the Pentagon decided to make the decision and they denied me.

The only reason I told my peers was that I wanted them to remember me for who I really was (which requires a significant time of exposure to stick in their heads), before we graduated and went our separate ways. The reason I told my commanders is because I hoped to start my transition as a cadet, thereby finishing the transition before I arrived at my first unit.

malaihi4 karma

Do they train you to become a specific type of officer? Like intelligence or infantry etc? And if so, what did you train for?

Ms_Riley_Guprz9 karma

They give everyone a very basic level infantry training because any officer might be expect to use it at some point. Otherwise all of our branch-specific training happens after graduation.

malaihi6 karma

Thank you for your response! And for doing this AMA. You're a brave soul for being who you feel you are, and I'm sure inspiring many others to do what they feel is right, instead of what's popular. Good on you.

So do you get to choose what field you want after graduation? What did you want to go into? And do you think that had an effect on your discharge?

Ms_Riley_Guprz6 karma

I get to put in a preference for what branch I want, and I ended up with my first choice of Air Defense Artillery. Absolutely no effect on my discharge though. The only branches that would've made it extra interesting would if I went into Armor or Infantry.

vvt20034 karma

What made you become transgender? Idk if it should be asked like that, but I have been wondering and I want to hear a nice formed answer from a smart and intelligend human like you.

Ms_Riley_Guprz6 karma

Probably the most correct way of asking would be "what made you identify as transgender," but it's not that big of a deal to me.

Have you ever been asked that question "if you could be a girl (or a guy) for a day, would you?" To me, the answer was absolutely yes, no hesitation. I thought it would be really cool to live like a woman for a day. The more I thought about it though, it morphed into "if I could be a woman forever, would I do it?" The answer was still the same, but there's no magic pill that does it so why bother wasting time thinking about it. Then I discovered that that magic pill does exist, but the process might be long and socially painful, therefore not worthwhile. It wasn't until I actually met a transwoman, my own age, that I found that it wasn't such a terrible trip afterall and that it might be worthwhile. At that point I was hating my body (I left out a lot of details about growing up) so much that I realized that truly was me. I had been holding back because I was scared of the stigma of being transgender. When I broke through that, it was the most amazing feeling, and it still is sometimes. I guess that's more my process rather than a reason, but I like writing so I'll quick answer that one too.

A good explanation I've heard is that it's like being right handed, but forced to use your left hand all your life. It feels weird and you can't say why, but you might get used to it. You might even get really good at writing with your left hand. But suddenly switch to your right hand and everything feels natural again. It may take some learning to use your right hand still, but at least it's what you were meant to do.

DustyRabbit17793 karma

How do you feel about the talks of the military paying for trans-sexual surgery?

On one hand : if you want to serve the country no one should deny your service for your sexuality which doesn't determine work ethic/patriotism.

On the other hand: joining the military purely for a "free" surgery to swap genders shouldn't be a priority mission for the military to spend money on.

Whats your thought? I'm somewhere in between to be honest.

Ms_Riley_Guprz14 karma

How do you feel about people joining just for free college?

Another issue is that changing your gender marker has state-dependent rules. Some states require surgery, some don't. It would be entirely unethical and probably unconstitutional for a federal institution like the military to pay for health care different based on what state you're from. And ultimately it makes the soldier/sailor/marine etc. far better at their job than they would be otherwise.

That being said, it's really not all the expensive. Sure, it costs money as all things do, but while we complain about $5.6 million a year, we're spending $300 million trying to recruit more soldiers.

If 18 other countries, including Israel, have no issue with it, I don't see why America can't do it.

majinspy2 karma

You seem to really have your head on straight for such a young person, and that's not taking into account the difficulties of transitioning.

Having said that, free college is awarded after service. It isn't available on day 2. What's to stop TG people from joining up, going through an expensive transition, then separating?

Ms_Riley_Guprz1 karma

Because you can't get surgeries just at the drop of a hat. It may take years just to have the hormone levels required, letters from doctors, and other small requirements. Additionally, the wait list is over 3 or 5 years in some cases as there so few certified surgeons (you could count them on a hand - depending on the surgery). So it's not like people can join, get a surgery on day 2, and drop out. That's not even considering service obligation regardless.

Lastly, hormones and labs are lifelong expenses for trans-folk, so there's not much incentive to leave your healthcare system ever.

chocolate19193 karma

I heard you speak at a West Point luncheon and think you're awesome! Congrats on graduating, and it's a shame you weren't allowed to commission. I'm sure you'll go on to do great things regardless.

My question is kind of general to all transgendered people, and is my hardest thing to understand. What is it that makes you want to hormonally and potential physically alter your gender? I know plenty of females who are masculine and act how a traditional male would - yet they don't feel compelled to literally become a male. And vice versa for feminine guys. What does being a transgender allow that you could not accomplish say as a nontraditional male?

Sorry if this is super ignorant - I would love to understand the mindset of transgendered people more though.

Ms_Riley_Guprz2 karma

You're thinking about it in the wrong way. Don't see it at as a man who wants to become a woman, but rather a woman that wants to be seen as a woman.

In your case, you are a (wo)man and you're looking at this like "what if I was trying to transition to the other gender" when instead it's as if everyone sees you as the other gender and you're trying to show them you really are the (wo)man that you are.

LittleRenay3 karma

If it was completely in your control would you prefer to be a history making, society shaping individual, or a private person with your own circle of close friends and loved ones? It seems as though you didn't set out to be a public figure, but ended up being one due to circumstances.

Ms_Riley_Guprz2 karma

That's an interesting one. I would like to think in the long term it would be amazing to be a history-making person, but in general I prefer to have my friends and family. I'm fairly open about my life though.

And you're right in that I didn't set out to be historic in any way. I knew a few graduates who are transgender, so I didn't consider myself doing anything too special. It wasn't until some time after I came out that someone told me that I would be the first openly transgender person to graduate.

Vandechoz3 karma

Do you have any thoughts on the ability for transwomen to more easily meet physical standards than ciswomen? Seems like it might ruffle a few feathers.

Ms_Riley_Guprz5 karma

The simply truth is that transwomen can't pass any easier than ciswomen. Certainly while they are in transition it might be easier, but they're most likely still on the male standard during that time. After a few months to a year of hormone therapy, transwomen have no advantage over ciswomen. The same is true for transmen as well.

Besides, even if it was easier for transwomen, it certainly wouldn't be easier for them to pass female height/weight standards.

Vandechoz4 karma

TIL

e: What sort of waiting period policy do you think would be reasonable, then, since HRT obviously isn't overnight?

Ms_Riley_Guprz3 karma

So the policy is that you start on female standards when you change your gender marker.

That's a tough process to do and most states require either surgery or "a significant and irreversible change" to allow that to happen. So yes, it is medical experts who deem it and so write the letter to allow your gender marker to change. By that point however, in all cases, the difference is ability is no better than a cis-woman with good genes - and that's only for a short period of time.

LonelyGirlInBrooklyn3 karma

Hi Riley; I’m a transgender female as well and I have been in the process of applying to the military as an officer: so my question to you is: did you ever feel ostracized or bullied by either males or females (instructors as well as students) inside of your training program?

Ms_Riley_Guprz10 karma

For the most part, no. I did get a lot of harassment from anonymous peers, but not any more than I would expect outside of the military. The majority of my peers just didn't care one way or the other.

And I never had an issue with a superior, although I didn't tell many of them anyways. My teachers knew to call me Riley but I never told them why because I didn't want to risk a bias on my grades.

LonelyGirlInBrooklyn3 karma

Another question: as I have been carefully reviewing the Transgender implementation and Inclusiveness documents, I am still applying to a commission–as I have a degree. Would you mind if we PM so I can have your opinion on some language? *totally in your experience?

Thank you! ❤️😅

Ms_Riley_Guprz7 karma

Sure thing, send me all your questions!

blackhorse15A3 karma

ms riley GUPRZ. So.... G-4?

Ms_Riley_Guprz6 karma

Haha G-2 actually. The name has nothing to do with my company, it's just my gamer tag

whatsthatbutt2 karma

Was it dishonorable discharge?

Ms_Riley_Guprz10 karma

Nope; honorable

Jasader2 karma

Did you worry how your soldiers would view you at your unit when they found out?

No offense, but the guys in my infantry unit would never take orders from a transgender officer.

Ms_Riley_Guprz2 karma

It would absolutely be tough trying to balance being transgender with the stigma 2LTs already have. However, I know hundreds of trans servicemembers, including leaders in the infantry. Really all the negativity turns out to be just talk once they're faced with the reality of a transgender squad leader or platoon leader. So long as I stay fit and do my job well, I wasn't too concerned.

ClassicPervert2 karma

Do you care if someone chooses not to address you with feminine pronouns? or if they still think you're a man?

Ms_Riley_Guprz4 karma

Yes, I care. It's the reason I'm going through a transition.

Now I'm fairly reasonable about things. I recognize that I don't pass for female yet so I don't get up in arms if someone mistakes my gender. I do care if they're misgendering me on purpose, because that means they're just being an asshole. Same goes with thinking I'm a guy.

ClassicPervert2 karma

Let's say you never fully pass, do you think you would still care?

Is it more about how the world sees you, or how you want to see yourself?

Ms_Riley_Guprz2 karma

do you think you would still care?

I know I'll eventually pass, so I'm not worried about it. But for the sake of argument: I'd probably get tired of it after awhile and it out on myself, but still wouldn't be upset at others for making honest mistakes.

Is it more about how the world sees you, or how you want to see yourself?

A little of both. Some things I want to change for myself, but largely I think it's changing so that others can see who I really am.

G3RTY2 karma

Do you believe that your involvement in military culture could be a form of ideological subversion?

Ms_Riley_Guprz3 karma

I'm confused by what you're asking. Do you mean the military is changing my mindset or that I'm trying to change the military mindset? The later is definitely true, and the former is probably true to some extent. I have a great respect for the military and absolutely support them. This is a fairly major leap from the anti-war libertarian that I was in high school. West Point requires courses in law and philosophy (and a thousand other core classes), and so I learned about military and constitutional law and how it relates to Just War Theory and the ethical use of violence.

somethingtosay23332 karma

What do changed after you were discharged? Financially how has it affected you? What was your interests of study at the school? What did you like most or worse?

I'm very sorry about your discharge by the way. I hate that for anyone

Ms_Riley_Guprz5 karma

What changed: I can grow my hair out now and wear whatever I want. I'm also not bound to military regulations and can be as political as I want on social media.

Financially: Well I'm suddenly unemployed, without healthcare, and I just lost my home last night, so pretty fucked. Although I'm living with relatives and hopefully will land a job soon.

Study: My major is Mathematical Sciences, but I also had a nuclear engineering track, and I took a year of Arabic.

Like Most [about West Point]: The people you meet are amazing. Both the good and the bad; they give you such perspective because by law they come from across the nation and from every state. It's really fascinating to see a precise cross-section of America (except it's only 20% women).

Like Least [about West Point]?: The place wears you down by never ending stress. The major difference with a normal college or Army job is that at the end of the day you don't get to go home. Instead, you move onto the next assigned task of the day and so on. Your entire day is scheduled or filled with things sometimes from 5:30 am to 11:00 pm, and then you have to do homework, and that might be on a Saturday. The nonstop grind is what makes it so difficult. I know neither of those are trans related but really it wasn't a major part of my life until my senior year.

rabidstoat3 karma

Aren't you young enough to get on your parent's healthcare? I thought anyone under 26 could.

Ms_Riley_Guprz2 karma

Yes, I'm 22, but I don't think their health care covers trans health stuff. I'm hoping for a more specific health care plan.

rabidstoat2 karma

Ah, could be.

Our work policy (major Fortune 50 company) has a specific exclusion clause for Down Syndrome therapy, supposedly on the basis that you can't "cure" Down Syndrome so fuck quality of life improvements that therapy brings, I guess? Which sucks when a coworker of mine had a kid with Down Syndrome and ended up paying for multiple therapy sessions a week (physical and occupational) out of pocket. Luckily she found a new job that actually covers her kid's needs after a couple of years.

Ms_Riley_Guprz2 karma

Yeah I'm basically just going down this list to find a job.

madhadderall1 karma

I've always wondered why they don't have transgender x-rated films for straight males. Like if a pre-op transgender male to female was 'with' a cis female wouldn't that be like watching 2 females? Which would be "straighter" than a guy and girl? Visually of course.

Ms_Riley_Guprz5 karma

why they don't have transgender x-rated films for straight males.

You must be new to the internet.

madhadderall1 karma

Ok then what's the term? Pre-op m2f with cis female? It's too confusing. There needs to be 1 term.

Ms_Riley_Guprz1 karma

transwoman = mtf

transman = ftm

pre-op/post-op are self-explanatory

ciswoman = non transwoman

cisman = non transman

men, regardless of trans or cis, are men. Visa versa for women. So a woman and man is straight etc.

madhadderall1 karma

I think "translesbian" is close but it doesn't specify about the ciswoman. It could just be 2 mtf pre or post ops.

Ms_Riley_Guprz1 karma

Does it matter to you whether the person is pre or post-op? I mean I get for the purposes of porn maybe, but porn uses common language to describe itself, rather than creating new identities for people to box them into new categories. The porn exists, and I'm sorry if you are upset at all that you can't find the right word to make your porn search just a little bit faster. Transgender people are not sexual objects and so we don't identify ourselves as sexual objects.

madhadderall2 karma

It was a hypothetical. You know like a conversation. To see what others think. But of course you must force the conversation of the victim. In my opinion i wasn't being rude. Just curious.

Ms_Riley_Guprz1 karma

Yes, but you're not the person to judge whether you're being rude or not, are you?

sleepfordayz6791 karma

Will you ever be allowed to serve and do you think if you graduated last year while Obama was President you would've been allowed to serve?

Ms_Riley_Guprz4 karma

  1. Probably, but by that time I probably won't want to.
  2. Absolutely. Erik Fanning is a friend of mine.

sleepfordayz6792 karma

Ah that stinks good luck! Also if you don't mind me asking do you have any plans?

Ms_Riley_Guprz3 karma

Someone beat you to that question.

forava71 karma

what do you plan on doing now after the military?

Ms_Riley_Guprz2 karma

Find a job; move to said job. I answer it more in depth here

whatsthatbutt1 karma

First off, yay for you. Congrats. I hope you are happy and continue to be happy. Secondly, are you spiteful in any way towards the military? In its current state?

Ms_Riley_Guprz9 karma

Am I spiteful? Not really. My commanders at West Point were simply doing their jobs by not allowing me to break male standards, but I do wish I got more latitude from them concerning such things as makeup. I mentioned before though that my commanders there fully supported me, I can't really complain.

Any negative decision against me was made from people near the top. Whether they're civilians or not, I don't know, but they were entirely swayed by politics. The recent delay in transgender policy was also disappointing but not altogether unexpected. Republicans have been calling for more study anyways so now they got it, and they should have no excuse when the delay is done. I refuse to believe though that anybody is out there just to twist a knife in me. Everything is just caused by people sticking their heads in the sand and pushing around whatever the good idea fairy drops on them.

liberonscien1 karma

What do you do for fun?

Ms_Riley_Guprz2 karma

I spend a lot of time on the computer, probably more than I should. I also like eating and love to try new foods, especially spicy things. Movies and reading are good too. The usual things people say, I guess.

liberonscien1 karma

What kind of movies and books?

Ms_Riley_Guprz1 karma

Huge fan of the Dune series. I like all sorts of movies, although not much into horror. I watched A Serbian Film once and lost all appetite for horror.

ninjacouch132-1 karma

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Ms_Riley_Guprz82 karma

For most people, it doesn't - and shouldn't - matter.

It does matter to the teenage girl who's afraid to bring her girlfriend to prom; it matters to the trans guy who can't bring himself to tell his family about who he is. Seeing someone else that you can identify with for the first time is a huge thing. It tells people that they're not alone and that if they come out and/or do something great, that they too can do it. You don't have to care, because it shouldn't have to be a brave thing, but it is. For your part, just don't be the anti-hero to that kid's hero. Don't bring people down.

Additionally, the point of me doing this and the new stories is not that I graduated, but that I was denied something that I should have earned. Injustice anywhere should make you care.

Mantisbog-2 karma

Sooooo....do you keep it in a jar on the mantle, or is that one of those things where it gets burned in the hospital furnace and thrown away in one of those bins with the biohazard/organic material symbols on it?

Ms_Riley_Guprz2 karma

It just get inverted. It's actually a pretty cool procedure that also looks disgusting and horrifying, but that's why I'm not a surgeon. Also, it's not something that I, or most transwomen, have done.

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Ms_Riley_Guprz9 karma

k

DarkPatriarchy-17 karma

Are you aware of where the concept of gender as a spectrum came from?

Ms_Riley_Guprz56 karma

If you're trying to bait me into something you think you know that I don't, I'm not sure where you're going with it.

That being said, I'm not nonbinary, but the way I like to look at it: if you have some traits that are traditionally viewed as feminine, and some that are masculine, it's entirely plausible that some people might like both of those traits, or neither, or some combination of those traits. I like to think that's a decent explanation of gender as a spectrum.

[deleted]-20 karma

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Ms_Riley_Guprz45 karma

We're not allowed conjugal visits at a military academy

EDIT: RE: "How often did your friend Dorothy visit you?"

[deleted]-30 karma

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Ms_Riley_Guprz73 karma

Because WPATH, APA, DSM-5, and the Pentagon say it isn't