Interview with Umut Dursun, Marine Corps veteran
From - UM Libraries
Umut Dursun was born June 1982 as female but never felt like he fit in to the female gender as a child. He had a strict upbringing as his father was of Turkish and Muslim descent. He was a tomboy throughout high school and played in the band. He liked the military message of the comradery, honor, courage, commitment and military uniforms. At age 18, he joined the Marine Corps as female and graduated in 2000 with family support. He was in the Marine Corps band playing the saxophone and stationed at Camp Lejeune for 3 1/2 years. After fulfilling his 4 year contract, transgender issues led to his leaving the military and was honorably discharged. After service he obtained college degree. His current life is dedicated to the Yes Institute, a local nonprofit in Miami. He heads communication and educational courses to open up dialogues amongst transgender families, and works closely with the VA training nurses and doctors about transgender patients. Military service provided a way of finding himself. Umut currently identifies as a man.