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Hawaii News

Transgender soldier back on the front lines

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KENT NISHIMURA / SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON POST
Army Sgt. Shane Ortega works out at a park in Mililani. In the Army's eyes Ortega is a woman; he's out to change that view.
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KENT NISHIMURA / SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON POST
Sgt. Shane Ortega, shown here in his flight gear outside his home at Wheeler Army Airfield, has served two combat tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan the first two as a woman, the last as a man. I felt the most comfortable and authentically me when in the combat theater. No one worried about anything but my performance on the job. We lived, ate and showered in the same facilities, and we were professionals. Its here at home that I have to endure the daily scrutiny of other peoples ideals of what my gender should be, Ortega told news website RYOT.
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DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
Ortega and his girlfriend, Pina Newman, who is also transgender, waited backstage Saturday during the Ikaika Bodybuilding Championship at the Neil Blaisdell Concert Hall. Ortega competed in the men’s physique division.