On Friday, April 12, a version of Trump’s transgender ban in the military went into effect.
But many military officials have rebuked the ban and have insisted that they are intent on finding ways around the ban.
Most recently, Major General Matthew Beevers of the California National Guard told The Hill,
“Every [transgender] soldier or airmen currently serving in the California National Guard will remain in our ranks. We will not treat any soldier or airmen any differently today than we did yesterday.”
“Anybody who is willing and able to serve state [and] nation should have the opportunity to serve. It’s unconscionable in my mind that we would fundamentally discriminate against a certain class of people based on their gender identity.”
Of course, he said that as a military leader he is technically bound to enforce the ban, but insisted that they would find every avenue to get around it.
The ban — which the Trump admin insists is not “a ban” at all — states that transgender folks are allowed to serve in the military as long as they pretend to be cisgender and hide their true identity. It is a revised version of the original ban and has been upheld by the Supreme Court for now.
Although the Supreme Court has allowed the ban to go into effect, it has not officially ruled that it is legal. Many LGBTQ and human rights organizations are currently fighting against it in court.
In the meantime, other branches of the military are also trying to avoid putting the ban in place.
The Navy, for example, recently released a statement that said that they would still allow trans members to “live socially” as their true gender. It’s a small gesture but a gesture none-the-less.
When Trump first tweeted out his transgender ban, many military officials spoke out against it.
Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. told the Senate back in September 2017,
“I believe any individual who meets the physical and mental standards, and is worldwide deployable and is currently serving, should be afforded the opportunity to continue to serve.”
Retired US general Stanley McChrystal reiterated the same sentiment in January of this year:
“If we have people who want to serve, if they have the desire and capacity to serve, I think it’s a mistake to lose that talent.”
As for those trans folks who currently serve in the military (which is estimated to be about 1,400), they are believed to be grandfathered in.
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