Journey to make a difference
Since the day I swore into the Army, there was only one thing that had ever crossed my mind, there was only one goal, and there was only one determination, there be a change, and to make a difference. The sacrifice for me was torture. I lived over 10 years of my life as a Transwoman, and then the first day of reception in Fort Jackson South Carolina, in one swivel of the silver chair, and all that changed. I saw myself in the mirror for the first time that night in the men's latrine, full of male soldiers, and I was bald.
I felt tears welling in my eyes, but I fought them back as hard as I could. I knew the environment I was in and I knew I could not show any sign of weakness. I needed to show that I am unbreakable and I am STRONG.
That night, when all the lights were out, and the Bay that held about 40 plus males that were being processed into Basic Combat Training, to become American Soldiers, was completely quiet aside from the sound of light snores and breathing, all were sound asleep. I crept into the bathroom, and went into the farthest stall. I turned around one last time and looked into the mirror facing me and saw myself again, tears fell from my eyes hitting the cold tiles of the shower stall. One after another the tears came until I found myself weeping on the cold blue tiles of the bathroom floor.
Living my Life as Princess, A Pageant Queen, a radio personality, a passionate writer, an actress in the Samoan motion pictures, a life of a party to the theatrical beauty of the stage and the voice representing the Trans community, to being a bald and I say it as I saw it, I was ugly!
In my eyes, I was ugly for the first time ever in my life, I saw nothing beautiful in my reflection. With that I hardened and became another man in the bay of male Soldiers. The only difference between those men and me was I was going to fight to let Princess see the light of day once more.
Today, on the International day for Women (March 08, 2018), I celebrate in gratitude, which my leadership and command team a day to remember in all the years that will come.
Today, on the 8th of March 2018, I OFFICIALLY SERVE in the United States ARMY as a FEMALE SOLDIER, Arrianna Princess Haserota Auva’a.
The struggle has been real and no doubt the toughest I have ever had to endure. However, I am grateful that I had to take on this journey. I have grown as a person. I have overcome so many fears I had. I have lived my life in a way that I can proudly say, “I did it”, not just for me, but for my Samoan and Polynesian Trans sisters everywhere.
There is so much more to life than living the norm. We all, at some point in our lives must take a risk and just JUMP into the unknown with hope, faith, and the determination to COME THROUGH winning. I cannot thank God enough for all he has brought me through, for that I am Grateful because He is Faithful!
MY Special Thanks to these Amazing People who have helped me along the way:
1SG STANLEY ANTWAN, CPT ALLISON, SSG CARTER, AND MY 226TH CSC FAMILY. CPT NORTHRUP RODALIA FOR BEING THE FIGHTING FORCE WITH ALL OF MY NEEDS, 1LT PASCETTA NADIA, 1SG SMITH ANTOINE, 1LT LOVINGGOOD JOHN, SGT JONES MAYUNNA, SSG POSER JEREMY, SPC MAYFIELD DAHEILIZ, FOR THE ENDLESS SUPPORT AND FOR JUST BEING GREAT PEOPLE. SFC SORIANO MARIA, THANK YOU FOR BEING MY GO TO, YOU MADE THINGS A LITTLE EASIER BECAUSE YOU MADE YOURSELF AVAILABLE TO ME FOR ANY HELP I NEEDED. MAJ SCHNITZLEIN, CPT MIMS, MS. HILL, CPT HULA, AND the care team here in Fort Stewart for all of their kindness and LOVE.
My Buddies, SPC Ifopo Soapy for being a great help, my cousin Simeamativa Thomsen, Mikey Thomsen, and Justin Auelua for your LOVE. My Good Friend and buddy PFC Rinehart Jackson, thank you for always being there when I needed you. My batman boys, Reyes and Soto — thanks guys; and to my Fort Stewart family and friends thanks for everything too.
TO all of you who have supported me in this journey with prayers thank you all! To my Parents, my siblings, my grandparents, family and friends, my SOFIAS and UTOPIA sisters and brothers, THANK YOU for your prayers.
With ALL my LOVE
Arrianna Princess Haserota Auva'a
"Live your life, achieve your goals, make your dreams your reality, and live your truth"