Spokane veteran and transgender woman responds to President Trum - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane veteran and transgender woman responds to President Trump’s Tweets

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Maeve Griffith knew something didn’t feel right at an early age.

“When I was very small, probably four or five I knew something was up,” said Griffith. “I come from a religious background as a child and there was a lot of feelings of shame and guilt, and every year thinking that as I got older these feelings would go away.”

But that never happened.

Griffith, who used to be named John and was legally a male, identifies as a woman.

She told her wife a few years into their marriage.

“It was a very hard thing to do,” said Griffith. “I think I was shaking really hard having to say this thing that I never heard myself even say out loud that I was a transgender person, a transgender female.”

The secret stayed between Griffith and her wife for 22 years.

“It was probably the worst thing that I would ever want people to know about me,” said Griffith. “Probably the most shameful thing at the time, the most embarrassing thing at the time.”

But on April 14th, Griffith shared her secret with her coworkers at Fire Station 3 in Spokane.

“I wrote a really long letter to my brothers and sisters with the full expectation that there were people who I had been in really dangerous situations with before, life and death things, that this friendship that was forged in that, that imp probably going to lose some friends in this,” said Griffith. “But what I found is that everybody stepped up to the plate and loved me.”

That list of people who support Griffith, who is now a captain with the fire department, is Chief Brian Schaeffer.

“Captain Maeve Griffith and her family are members of the SFD family,” Schaeffer wrote in a statement. “And thus we have the highest regard for her and support her in her journey. We will not tolerate any level of bullying, harassment, or behavior that is anything but inclusive for our own people and the people we serve—period.”

Before becoming a firefighter, Griffith was a B-52 navigator and bombardier for the United States Air Force.

After President Donald Trump Tweeted that “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Griffith had her own response:

“We exist and we're here. We've been a part of your fabric of community, we've defended our nation, and lets just acknowledge that,” said Griffith. “I think eventually it comes down to prejudice and fear of the unknown. But the truth is there have always been transgender people in the military probable since revolutionary times. They didn’t have a name for it, but we've always had people in military who are transgender we always will. But it's whether you let them tell the truth about themselves or not.”

Griffith says Trumps claims that transgender people are a distraction are completely unfounded. In fact, she says his attempted ban is the real distraction.

“If he's doing an outright ban on transgender people and the military told people that it was okay to come out and people believed them on that, and now they're being kicked out for being transgender that's an amazing, disruptive thing, that military leaders will have to deal with,” said Griffith.

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