Trans soldiers call on Biden to end military ban

Jerusalem Post:

“Every American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to do so – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and without having to hide who they are,” said Biden.

As Joe Biden began his first full day as US president-elect, a group of transgender military aspirants and campaign groups insisted that one of his first priorities must be to overturn a ban on new transgender personnel serving in the US military.Biden captured the presidency on Saturday as voters narrowly rebuffed Republican incumbent Donald Trump’s tumultuous leadership and embraced his promise to fight the coronavirus pandemic and fix the economy in a divided nation.

Former Democrat President Barack Obama in 2016 allowed trans people to serve openly and receive medical care to transition genders, but in April last year Trump froze the recruitment of trans soldiers although serving personnel could remain.

Nic Talbott, a plaintiff in one of four lawsuits filed in federal courts challenging the ban, said he was hopeful that Biden’s victory could transform his life. As a trans man, he has been banned from joining the US military, a dream he has held since childhood. He had been in the process of joining the Air Force National Guard but ended up working in a local Walmart in the midwestern state of Ohio.”I was incredibly emotional when I first heard the news of Mr Biden’s victory,” Talbott, 27, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by email on Sunday.

“Our military members are already asked to make enormous sacrifices, and our transgender military members and recruits should not be asked to sacrifice their authentic identities in addition to everything else.”In April, John Roberts, a trans man who wants to join the National Guard, a reserve branch of the military, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the ban was “probably the most frustrating thing I’ve had to deal with in my entire life.”READY AND QUALIFIED”I’m ready, I’m here, I’m willing, I’m qualified. I want to get out there. And I want to help,” he said.

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