In June 2016, Obama allowed transgender people already in the military to serve openly, and openly transgender people to apply. A one-year deadline was set for the military to begin accepting trans troops; this was then extended to begin on Jan. 1, 2018.
On July 26th, 2017, Trump tweeted in two parts, “….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
Thankfully on December 11th, 2017, a federal judge denied the Trump administration’s request. She did not cite transphobia; however, she did state that their delay was based on vague claims about needing more time. Essentially, she said that they lacked valid reasoning for banning trans troops.
The U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) released a statement later that day, on Monday, Dec. 11, saying it “will begin processing transgender applicants for military service on January 1, 2018. This policy will be implemented while the Department of Justice appeals those court orders”
“As required by recent federal district court orders, the Department of Defence will begin processing transgender applicants for military service on January 1, 2018. This policy will be implemented while the Department of Justice appeals those court orders.” –DoD
Although this is a victory for trans people, this statement is still fraught with transphobia, seeing as the DoD and Department of Justice are working to reinstitute the military ban. This sentiment is heavily reinforced in the second paragraph, as the DoD declares that it is “actively pursuing relief from those court orders in order to allow an ongoing policy review scheduled to be completed before the end of March.”
“The United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered DoD to implement, effective January 1, 2018, the accession policy issued by former Secretary Carter in 2016. DoD and the Department of Justice are actively pursuing relief from those court orders in order to allow an ongoing policy review scheduled to be completed before the end of March.”–DoD
Photo Credit: Illustration by Elena Scotti/Fusion via Splinter News