Air Force veteran Avalisa Ellicott, a Black trans woman, joins this week’s episode of The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast.
After leaving the service, Ellicott says she decided to be truthful to herself and made the transition to a woman in 2010. “I’ve known since I was 3 or 4 that I was intrinsically a girl. Unfortunately, extrinsically I was not. So there was this imbalance within myself that I had to change.”
Following her transition, she realized that representation was missing for Black trans women so she started a YouTube channel to share her experiences. That led to an invitation to join a collaborative channel called the Trans Youth Channel. It was comprised of trans men and women and aimed to help trans youth in their transitions. Now, she is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, specifically for trans rights.
“A lot of my military service was a witch hunt,” she says, “after I got out of basic training I had been bottling up all this femininity and it doesn’t interfere with my job. So I am not going to hide it.”
She also talks about the recent 10th year anniversary of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.
Ellicott credits her military experience as a reason for her success as an advocate. “The military molds leaders,” she said. “I’d already been molded as a leader and then you give me this one specific thing that I can really stand up for better than anyone else.”
This episode is one of more than 90 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts that are available at this web page. You can also download them on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or other major podcast-hosting sites. You can also view all of the episodes on the Legion’s YouTube channel.