A national group serving LGBT service members and their families has launched a new program to provide support for the LGBT kids of U.S. troops. Milpride was announced Saturday in Washington, D.C., at the American Military Partner Association's annual gala.
According to AMPA, MilPride is dedicated to “our pride and joy,” LGBT children and their families stationed all around the world. It's the brainchild of Amanda Brewer and Jess Girven, both military moms and mothers of transgender girls, along with Girven’s mother, Mary.
“We want to reach as many families as possible,” Brewer, mother to six kids and a military spouse for 15 years, told NewNowNext.
Girven (above center), has been a military spouse for nearly 15 years and says Milpride's longterm goal is to launch a summer camp for LGBT military children. “We know many of these kids are the only out LGBT kid at their base or school. That is a lonely feeling.”
The group's genesis came when Girven's daughter, Blue, came out as trans: In 2016 at just 10 years old, she successfully fought for the right to use the bathroom matching her gender identity at her school on Ramstein Air Base, about 160 miles from Cologne.
Blue, who had been warmly accepted by her classmates, was initially allowed to use the girl's room by school administrators. But a Department of Defense official overruled that decision, even though other trans students in the area are were allowed to use restrooms matching their gender identity.
The Girvens had to fight again to get Blue puberty blockers, which base doctors refused to prescribe. So she crowdfunded a trip to a Virginia base where Blue could get treatment, and where the family first met Brewer and her trans daughter, Jennifer.
“I really hope that we are able to reach as many of these military kids as we can,” says AMPA president Ashley Broadway-Mack, herself a mom and a wife to a woman serving in the Army.
To help get the word out, the group tapped notable activists and allies like HRC press secretary Sarah McBride and Congressman Joe Kennedy III to record inspiration videos.
In July, Blue met Kennedy and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to discuss the impact of the Trump Administration’s rollback of trans students’ rights and the trans military ban.
Currently the Pentagon claims the needs of trans children of military personnel are handled on a case-by-case basis.