New US President Joe Biden repealed Donald Trump’s ban on transgender Americans joining the military.
If remembered, Trump banned trans people from joining the military in his first year in office. At that time, Trump cited as justification for his transphobic policy “tremendous medical costs and disruption”.
The ban took effect in April 2019. And though trans personnel who were already serving were allowed to continue, new recruits were locked out. As of 2019, there were 8,980 active duty transgender troops in 2019, according to Department of Defense data.
“Transgender servicemembers will no longer be subject to the possibility of discharge or separation on the basis of gender identity,” the White House said following Biden’s move. “Pres. Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity.”
The move may be considered more egalitarian, but following anti-militarization sentiments, bullets/bombs released even by trans people still kill.
According to new US Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, his department will “immediately take appropriate policy action to ensure individuals who identify as transgender are eligible to enter and serve in their self-identified gender.”
“The United States Armed Forces are in the business of defending our fellow citizens from our enemies, foreign and domestic. I believe we accomplish that mission more effectively when we represent all our fellow citizens,” Austin stated.