First transgender Navy sailor allowed to serve under identifying gender since 2019 ban

(July 14, 2018) Sailors march as part of the San Diego Military Contingent at the 2018 San Diego Pride Parade. The parade fosters pride, equality, and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities locally, nationally, and globally. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Burgains/Released)

A transgender U.S. Navy sailor will be allowed to serve under the gender they identify as, the first service member permitted to do since the Trump administration banned transgender troops in 2019.

The Navy granted a special waiver to this unidentified sailor, CNN reported. It will allow the person to follow the uniform, grooming and other standards of their “preferred gender.”

While the military’s current rule doesn’t explicitly read “no transgender troops,” it forces all service members to serve under their birth gender, prevents transgender people from joining and prohibits gender transitions, so it might as well.

President Trump announced the new rule on Twitter six months into his presidency, much to the surprise of Pentagon officials, and it was implemented two years later following some legal wrangling.

The Obama administration had ended the military’s longstanding ban on transgender soldiers and sailors in 2016.

The Advocate estimated the return of the ban would force 13,000 transgender troops to be involuntarily discharged.

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