Around 15,500 transgender people serve in the U.S. military (notably the largest transgender employer in the U.S.), where they must conceal their gender identity because military policies ban their service.
TRANSMILITARY chronicles the lives of four individuals (Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Corporal Laila Villanueva, Captain Jennifer Peace & First Lieutenant El Cook) defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own.
They put their careers and their families’ livelihoods on the line by coming out as transgender to top brass officials in the Pentagon in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve. The ban was lifted in 2016, but with the Pentagon's April 12th directive to reinstate it, their futures hang in the balance again.
Special thanks to this evening's event sponsors: The LOFT LGBT Community Center and Northwell Health Physician Partners Multi-Specialty at Patchogue
Guest Moderator: Shepard Verbas
Shepard joined The LOFT team in November 2015 as Program Manager for Silver Connections and Helpline. Since then, their title has grown to include The LOFT's Intimate Partner Violence program, as well as facilitation and oversight of many LOFT groups and volunteers. Shepard also works with LGBTQ youth through their role as Program Specialist with the organization Center Lane.
Graduating in 2014 with a B.S. in Special Education/Early Childhood Education, Shepard has over five years experience working with youth and adults in educational and therapeutic settings. For two years, Shepard co-chaired GLSEN Hudson Valley's LGBT youth outreach initiative, Shared Stories Open Minds, and was an active member of the chapter's board.
Shepard has an unrelenting passion for LGBT advocacy, and shares The LOFT’s commitment to Advocate, Educate, and Celebrate diversity wholeheartedly. They are particularly passionate about the transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary communities. Shepard presents at various trainings and forums about the importance of trans rights and visibility.
LCSW-R, VA Hudson Valley Montrose Clinical Ambulatory Social Worker
Jacqueline Bush is a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker working with veterans at the VA Hudson Valley Montrose for the past 23 years specializing in Trauma Therapy. Her passion for social work began as a VISTA working as a representative of abused/neglected children in the Oakland county, in the Michigan court system. She received her Masters Degree in Social Work from Fordham University. Retiring from the VA Hudson Valley in 2017, Jackie resides in Ossining spending time with her family and dog Zoe.
Robbins Gottlock, MD, MBA
Director, LGBTQIA+ Health Center of Excellence
Northwell Health Physician Partners
As Vice President and Associate Medical Director of Phelps Hospital, Robbins Gottlock, MD, oversees many of the hospital’s inpatient physicians as well as the Phelps Family Medicine Residency Program, clinical trials and research, continuing medical education and clinical information technology.
Additionally, Dr. Gottlock is the Medical Director of Northwell Health Physician Partners multispecialty group of sixty doctors with offices from Croton to Dobbs Ferry. As part of that group, he is most proud of founding the LGBTQIA+ Health Center of Excellence in Sleepy Hollow that specializes in giving competent and empathetic care to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Dr. Gottlock began his medical career in 2002 at Beth Israel Hospital (now Mount Sinai Beth Israel). During that time, he earned an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. In 2010, he briefly left the medical field to serve as a business consultant for the global Boston Consulting Group, working with pharmaceutical, and biotech companies and health systems. He returned to Beth Israel in 2012, and led its 100-physician outpatient multispecialty medical group when it merged with Mount Sinai in 2014. He started working at Phelps Hospital in April 2017.
Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Gottlock earned his medical degree at the University of Utah School of Medicine and completed his family medicine residency in Swedish Family Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. His special interests include adolescent, adult and LGBTQ health. Dr. Gottlock, his husband, and their four children live in Sleepy Hollow.
Master At Arms, US Navy
Cynthia was acting military police in COMFLEACT Sasebo, Japan from 2011 to 2015, serving 4 years honorably. During her term serving openly as herself for three and a half years with limitations and barriers, she advocated for the personal rights of service members in armed forces. She also worked with local NAVY legal office and Local Navy Hospital System. During her service she earned right to be able to dress, live more authentically, and pursue medical treatment. Dedicated to the bettering of others and self, she now works in medical, and continually self educates on broad spectrum of topics. She hopes going forward to expand down the line into medical science and Human Rights / Advocacy.