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February 14 2022 12:00 am

Lesbian West Virginia National Guard member sues for discrimination

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Fairness West Virginia reports that Technical Sergeant Kristin Kingery has filed a lawsuit alleging ongoing discrimination based on her sexual orientation and gender expression in the Air National Guard.

According to the complaint filed, Kingery was allegedly told by supervisors that her career would “suffer” unless she began wearing makeup and growing her hair long.

Documents say that the alleged harassment based on her sexual orientation and gender expression included Kingery being forced to try on a woman’s Honor Guard jacket in front of others to, “confirm that none of the women’s sizes would fit.” It also says that rumors of her “transitioning from female to male” were perpetrated by both colleagues and supervisors.

The lawsuit says that harassment about her gender expression regarding hair length made her carry around instructions on how the length was not in violation of the Air Force.

Kingery allegedly faced hiring discrimination in the form of superiors refusing to honor a hiring decision after being deployed, facing medical problems and not changing her appearance, according to court documents.

The lawsuit says that the position had allegedly been pulled due to a lack of funding, but was reposted later without Kingery’s knowledge. The complaint also claims that the position had been contained within the budget and there were no budgetary problems.

Kingery has served with the Air National Guard for approximately 14 years.

The case was filed on Nov. 23, 2021.

13 News reached out to the National Guard, and they provided the following statement:

“The West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) is fully committed to an inclusive and diverse workforce free from harassment. As a matter of policy, the WVNG does not comment on matters that are currently pending in litigation. But generally, the WVNG advised an outside agency who is charged with conducting investigations that are prompt, fair, and impartial in matters like this one. They produced a report with the factual record, and it was determined that no discrimination and/or harassment occurred. As such, we are continuing the process to present the facts to fully resolve this matter in the court system.”

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