'People are looking at us like villains': AL transgender veteran - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

'People are looking at us like villains': AL transgender veteran responds to Trump tweet

Randi Blocker (Source: Twitter) Randi Blocker (Source: Twitter)

A local transgender veteran is speaking out about President Donald Trump's recent tweets about the military.

“I talk to people in the service all the time and none of them have had any problems serving until this tweet come out, and all of a sudden people are looking at us like villains," said Randi Blocker.

READ MORE: Trump tweets ban of transgender individuals from the military

“These people are serving honorably. They are doing their job that they signed on to do, and to have him come out and dishonor their commitment that way just enraged me," Blocker said.

Blocker, who used to be known as Randell, said she served in the marine Corps from 1983 to 1987. She didn't fully come out as a transgender until after her service and retirement.

"I was a telephone switchboard technician and I went to this school immediately out of boot camp," Blocker said as she pointed to a photo. "You can't hide something like having a locker full of dresses or makeup or something like that, and yes, you didn't expose yourself that way. You had to stay quiet about it or you'd be kicked out, so I played the game and did what I had to do to serve my country."

Blocker calls the president's tweets a slap in the face.

"The ones who are transgender and want to be in the military because they think they are going to get surgery, they are going in for the wrong reason and if your heart is not in your service to the military, you are not going to last," she said.

Over the years, she's had to seek out support and help.

"North Alabama is a scary place for a transgender person. There is not much support publicly for us and up until recently there were no resources for us," Blocker said.

Now she hopes to be a voice for others and someone with answers.

"People out there aren't seeing me as a threat. I'm not a freak. I'm not someone who is doing something wrong. I'm living my life quietly just like any other person," she said.

Blocker said she'll continue to push for the truth about what it means to be a military veteran who is transgender.

"We are serving in an honorably capacity and we are doing the job that we signed up to do," said Blocker. She added that she wants to help her people in the Shoals by organizing self defense classes specifically for the LGBTQ community.

The President's tweets about transgender service members have yet to translate into a change in any policy. A Pentagon spokesperson said a change from the president needs to be received by the secretary of defense, and then the secretary needs to issue implementation guidelines.

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