On the final day of Pride Month 2016, The United States Department of Defense announced the long anticipated news that patriotic Transgender Americans will now be able to openly choose to volunteer to serve their country. Transgender Americans are twice as likely as their cisgender (non-trans) peers to serve in the Armed Forces, according to a study’s findings released by the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles’ School of Law. Now, finally, they will be able to serve without having to hide who they are, in pride of serving our nation.
Nearly all of our allied nations have allowed their transgender citizens to serve starting in the mid 1990s when their bans were lifted on the service of lesbian, gay and bisexual patriots. Israel was the first to lift restrictions and limitations on the service their LGBT citizens, nearly all of whom have always been required to serve, regardless of sexual orientation or gender variance. Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and European nations all included transgender service allowance along with lesbian, gay and bisexual service during the 1990s. Now, America, which taught democracy and equality to much of the world following WWII, has caught up with the wave of full equality for all those who want to courageously step forward to be among our bravest citizens.
Evan Young, Major US Army retired, President of Transgender American Veterans Association, said,”This is a historic day in the United States Military. Our nation’s military has stepped up and joined other nations in allowing transgender service members to serve openly. I am proud of the Department of Defense for allowing everyone who meets the standards to serve. We should all be judged on our merits and not on our gender identity.“
TAVA looks forward to working with DoD to assist in developing policies and regulations regarding the service and equal benefits of patriotic volunteers.
Evan Young, President of TAVA 516-828-2911
Denny Meyer, PAO AVER/TAVA 718 849-5665