Hooray! Transgender Troops Can Now Legally Serve In The US Military

The transgender bathroom debate has been going on for quite some time now, but so have many other trans issues that have also been brought to the governments attention, such as transgender people serving in the military.

While Obama supported LGBT rights by overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2011, there still hadn’t been any laws for trans men and women in the military up until now.

On June 30th, the Secretary of Defense, Ashton B. Carter, announced that the Pentagon will be lifting the ban on transgender people serving our country, which will be effective immediately.

Although there are currently a reported 2,500 trans people serving in the military currently, according to RAND; it’s very likely that there is a much larger number who are fearful of reporting their status.

The main issue the new law addresses is that the trans people who are currently serving our country aren’t receiving appropriate medical services for their conditions. The military promises their troops that all necessary medical attention will be free of charge, but this hasn’t been the case for trans officers who are currently enrolled.

In his speech, Carter explains that “right now, most of our transgender service members must go outside the military medical system in order to obtain medical care that is judged by doctors to be necessary, and they have to pay for it out of their own pockets.”

We’re happy to see that the US government isn’t completely inefficient, and that they’ve lifted the ban in order to give trans troops the care that they are entitled to.

While there’s still a long way to go for LGBT rights, the Obama administration has allowed things to move in the right direction, and celebrities like Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner have brought trans issues into the spotlight. This news is the perfect way to cap off Pride week, and an even more awesome reason to celebrate our country’s independence this weekend.

You can view the livestream of Carter’s speech here.

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