Israel’s First Transgender Army Officer Celebrates at Israeli Embassy in the U.S.

Shachar, a lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces, spoke Monday night at a gay pride month event at the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C., explaining in hesitant and nervous tones how he became its first transgender officer.

“This is the right of the whole world, to be free and to be whoever we want to be,” Shachar said, with an unmistakable nod to last week’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando carried out by a man who pledged fealty to the Islamic State.

But the inaugural pride event at the embassy, including Shachar’s participation, was planned long before the Orlando massacre. The event was celebrating the Israeli army’s evolution in its treatment of gay and transgender soldiers.

More recently, he has adopted a semi-official role counseling other transgender soldiers and has advised the IDF’s chief gender officer, Brig. Gen. Rachel Tevet-Wiesel, on transgender issues.




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