Veteran Laila Ireland is a retired Combat Medic and served for 12 years in the United States Army. She served two combat tours in Iraq and her final duty station was at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii where she was honorably discharged and medically retired in November 2015.
Laila’s advocacy and activism began in 2012 with the LGBT military advocacy organizations OutServe Trans and SPART*A. Through these groups she has spoken about the intersections of being transgender, female, a person of color, and a spouse to a transgender service member while actively serving in the military.
On June 4, 2015 Laila and her then fiancé, SSgt Logan Ireland, courageously came out as transgender service members by sharing their story in the Emmy®-nominated New York Times short film “Transgender, at War and in Love.” The film highlighted their struggles as a military couple who are both transgender as a way of advocating to change the policies banning their service. Their story become one of The Times’ most viewed online short films and garnered Laila and Logan’s invitation to The White House Pride Reception to meet President Barack Obama. The film went on to win The White House News Photographers Association’s “Best Documentary,” and was nominated for a GLAAD Award and was a 2016 Emmy® nominee for “Outstanding Short Documentary.” More of Logan and Laila’s story is featured alongside two other transgender service members in the 2018 SXSW Audience Award winning feature length documentary, “TransMilitary.”
Some notables, The American Military Partners Association presented Laila with their “Military Spouse Leadership Award” in 2016. She also became the 2017 Military Spouse of the Year on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. In 2018, the Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association awarded Laila with the Innovator award.
Today, Laila advocates for LGBTQ2 youth, veterans, and transgender equity by speaking in schools, installations and businesses across our nation. She serves as the Membership Director to SPART*A Trans; an organization of over 950* members, established and operated for and by trans*military individuals, and she volunteers with local Colorado LGBTQ non-profits to empowers trans people through gender affirming programs. While she isn’t on the LGBTQ trail, she serves as the key spouse leader for Logan’s unit.