Local transgender veterans to speak after documentary premiere on Saturday, as Trump transgender military ban goes into effect

Panel discussion and film screening is part of Charlotte Pride’s Reel Out Charlotte, The Queen City’s Annual LGBTQ Film Festival

CHARLOTTE, N.C — Several transgender veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces will speak during a panel discussion on Saturday, May 4, 2019, following the Charlotte premiere screening of the documentary, “TransMilitary.”

The film screening will begin at 7 p.m. at Camp North End, 1824 Statesville Ave., Charlotte, NC 28206. The panel discussion immediately follows the 93-minute film.

Among the several panelists are:
• Kelli Baron, who served for two years in the U.S. Navy as an Electrician’s Mate (Nuclear) as a 3rd Class Petty Officer
• Adrian Chavez, who served nearly five years as a Nuclear Machinist Mate as a 2nd Class Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy

The moderator for the panel is Charlotte Pride Board of Directors Vice President Nan Bangs, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve (ret.). Bangs, who is cisgender, served for 22 years, partly under the now-repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Notable missions for Bangs included 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the BP Oil Spill.

The documentary “TransMilitary” chronicles the lives of four individuals defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own, coming out as transgender to top brass officials in the Pentagon in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve. The ban on transgender service members was initially lifted in 2016, with President Donald Trump now re-instating the ban.

Interviews will be available on-site prior to the film screening and immediately following the panel discussion.

A trailer of the film can be viewed online at https://vimeo.com/301392874.

Reel Out Charlotte, a program of Charlotte Pride, is the Queen City’s Annual LGBTQ Film Festival. This year’s 11th annual event began on April 28 and continues through May 5, featuring 10 local, state or regional film premieres from some of 2018’s and 2019’s most awarded and highly praised LGBTQ cinematic releases. For more information and a schedule of remaining events, visit https://charlottepride.org/reelout/films/

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CONTACT: Matt Comer, matt@charlottepride.org