During Trumps time in office, there were some rules put in place that banned transgender people from serving in the Military. As of recent, the Pentagon announced a new policy to undo the rules under the Trump administration.
The new policies will now provide service members a process in which they may transition gender while serving, a service member may not be discharged or denied reenlistment based on their gender identity, procedures will be implemented for changing a service member’s gender marker, and finally, The Defense Health Agency is currently developing clinical practice guidelines to support the medical treatment of service members going through gender dysphoria. (Gender dysphoria is distress caused by a mismatch between one’s sex-based gender assigned at birth and one’s gender identity.)
This new change within the military is a step in the right direction, holding transgender persons to the same high standards and procedures as other Service members, making them feel included, instead of an outsider. This opportunity allows qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform openly, regardless of their gender preferences.
With the new change, the Department of Defense is now providing inclusive policies to attract and retain the best our nation has to offer and is being applauded by The Transgender Military Advocacy organization. Transgender service members now have access to all necessary medical care, as well as recruitment being extended to transgender individuals, giving them an opportunity to serve, making the military more cohesive, and more equal.
President Biden is the man behind this new policy and has moved quickly to undo the discriminatory and unjust transgender military ban put in place by former President Trump. During Trumps time in office, service members could be discharged from the Military for being transgender. In 2016, during the Obama administration, the secretary of defense permitted transgender individuals to serve openly in the military, through strength and diversity, so that transgender service members could meet the required standards and be a part of a service that takes steps to transition genders while serving.
Since the new implementation of policies, transgender people have started contacting recruiters to enlist, and get back to the mission of accomplishing the needs to serve and defend the country. There are still opportunities to improve the guidelines regarding approval for transgender treatment plans.
This is a small win for the Transgender community, but a step in the right direction to make a change, and to not discriminate based on gender. In regard to next steps, it’s important to make sure that this new policy has longevity and last amongst the next presidents to come. There needs to be constant updates and further policies that are additionally put into place to make sure the Transgender community has equal rights when enlisting in the military. It may take time for the climate towards the transgender community within the Military to change, but it’s a change that needs to be made.