Coordinator, Trans-Military Advisory Committee
My legal name is Maj Laura Catherine Perry, USAF (Ret). I am a transgender woman. I grew up in a small New England town and was raised in a traditional catholic family. I am presently living on Florida's Space Coast, in Melbourne, the Harbor City. I transitioned on 18 April 2012, one year to the day that I started gender counseling and just over four months after starting hormones. My license, passport and social security records have female gender markers. My professional career was established well before transition. I received my undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University in 1978 and my Master of Social Work degree from the University of Georgia in 1981. I entered the Air Force in June 1983, attending the Military Indoctrination for Medical Service Officers at Sheppard AFB in Witicha Falls, TX. A newly commissioned 1Lt, I was assigned to the Biomedical Sciences Corps as a Clinical Social Worker and would work in mental health and domestic violence. I served in military medical treatment facilities within Strategic Air Command, US Air Forces in Europe, the US Air Force Academy, Air Combat Command and Air Force Space Command. While stationed at the home of the 1st Fighter Wing, Langely AFB, VA, I deployed to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia arriving 2 weeks after the Khobar Towers bombing. I led the AF mental health response to that terrorist attack and re-deployed with the warfighters to Prince Sultan AB where I completed my 90 day deployment, joining the 55th Air Transportable Hospital from Offutt AFB, NE. I retired in June 2003 and continue to support our military forces in my present position. I am the Coordinator of the Palm Center’s Trans-Military Advisory Committee, recently attended the New Organizing Institute’s conference on Telling the Public Narrative in NY City and most recently returned from the OutServe-SLDN Leadership Conference in San Antonio, TX. I am fully committed to removing the barriers to transgender persons serving openly in the military service.