Emily Denise Gray was born in Cullman, AL, and spent her childhood at various U.S. Army bases where her mother was stationed. She spent her formative years in Giebelstadt, Germany. She and her family moved back to north Alabama where she completed middle and high school. At 22, she joined the U.S. Air Force and became a firefighter where she obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant. She served honorably for 6 years including a deployment to Iraq. When her enlistment was up, she continued to work for the DoD as a civilian federal firefighter. In October 2016, when the DOD rolled back the ban on being transgender in the military, she began taking steps to begin her transition so she could live her authentic life. She is currently living out and proud as a Fire Captain for the U.S. Navy in Florida at Naval Support Activity Panama City.