On Friday, the banning of transgender troops from the military went into effect, as ordered by President Donald Trump and the Pentagon. For those who are transgender and currently in the military, they will not be affected, but future recruits will not be allowed to join up. Despite this policy going into place, and those with gender dysphoria being banned, some units of the military are defying orders and taking a stand.
According to the Washington Examiner, the California National Guard has no intention of implementing the mandated order put in place by the Trump administration. They will not discriminate against transgender people who wish to join their branch and will not ban them despite the order.
Speaking to The Hill on Friday after the policy was put in place, Major General Matthew Beevers said that an individual’s gender identity is “the least of our concerns.” One of the highest-ranking officers in the California National Guard, Beevers stated that nothing will change.
“Every transgendered soldier or airmen currently serving in the California National Guard will remain in our ranks. Further, we will not treat any soldier or airmen any differently today, than we did yesterday.”
“As long as they meet the requirements for service,” Beevers says that transgender service members will have the opportunity to be brought into the California National Guard.
Trans troops are welcome, despite the ban coming into effect. https://t.co/VkGPwWHQEY— PinkNews (@PinkNews) April 14, 2019
Beevers went on to say that anyone “who is willing and able to serve state [and] nation should have the opportunity to serve.”
“It’s unconscionable in my mind that we would fundamentally discriminate against a certain class of people based on their gender identity.”
On Friday, the Pentagon stated that the new policy does not block transgender individuals from service, but they must meet the standards of the sex they were assigned at birth. Advocates and human rights groups state that with the current phrasing, this policy is focused on banning the presence of trans people in the military.
With the implementation of this policy by the Trump administration, many feel as if it will bring back the “don’t ask, don’t tell” way of doing things. If transgender individuals want to join the military, they will need to refrain from openly revealing their identity when enlisting.
This was a particularly bad week for US politics as the #TransMilitaryBan was enacted re-instating a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" style ban on transgender military service. Trans troops will now need to lie as a condition of service or be fired. pic.twitter.com/Kp8gX3WiR4— Dr Chris Pepin-Neff (@christopherneff) April 13, 2019
More than 14,000 transgender service members currently serve in the military, and they will be allowed to continue to do that as long as they choose. At the same time, they will also need to receive a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and possibly have to deal with backlash from some of those around them.
Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people joining the military is being met with verbal push-back, though some branches — such as the California National Guard — are taking action.