On Tuesday the Defense Department approved a new policy affecting transgender service members and transgender people who want to enlist.
The policy will take effect next month on April 12, 2019. After that date, no one with Gender Dysphoria who is taking hormones or has transitioned to another gender can enlist. It also requires currently serving trans-people to serve in their birth gender and cannot take hormones or get transition surgery.
Waivers will be issued on a case-by-case basis. Non-compliance with this policy can result in being discharged
A local transgender veteran said this policy is a giant step back for the trans-community.
Paula Reading is the President of the Transgender Veterans Support Group which has more than 3,200 members around the world including the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Paula says once their group heard of the new policy members felt helpless, saying this not only hurts transgender veterans but fears this will cause more trauma to younger trans-people.
Paula Reading said “It’s like we come out of the closet and able to be ourselves and now they’re going to boot us out again. That’s devastating, it’s no wonder we have the highest suicide rate in the Country.”
Currently, there are 27 members in the Transgender Veterans Support Group in the Corpus Christi area.
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