HOUSTON – Josphine Paulett Tittsworth is a proud veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, serving from 1973 to 1977. She had top security clearance, she rose to the rank of petty officer second class and received a Good Conduct Metal.
But her top-secret clearance wasn't the only secret about Josephine. At the time, she was a man named Joseph Paul Tittsworth, who was serving in the military with a strong desire to be a woman.
"I wore woman's clothes under my uniform," Josephine Tittsworth, a Houston resident, said. "I wore them under my dress uniform. I painted my toenails. I'd go to work."
If anyone found out, she said she would have been booted from the military.
Pointing to her medals, Tittsworth said, "My Good Conduct Medal ... right there? I call it my never-got-caught medal."
Tittsworth is proud of her service. To her, the news of President Donald Trump's tweet banning transgender individuals from the military felt like a betrayal.
"Now, they are trying to say we are third-class citizens not capable of serving our country and protecting our country," Tittsworth said.