Vanessa Sandoval, Staff Writer
Almost two years ago, the 45th president of the United States announced the beginning of the Transgender Military Ban. This ban stated that all transgender individuals who come out or do not hide their identity would be discharged from the military. Only about five years ago were transgender individuals allowed to join the military, and this ban completely reversed the attempts of inclusivity made by the Obama administration. The previous administration’s justification was based on costs spent on transgender individuals and the “hardship” they pose on the military. Critics were quick to point out that about $8 million were spent on transgender individuals. However, only about $2 million of that amount is paid directly for transitioning. Additionally, compared to the military’s $50 billion budget, critics have questioned this ban’s actual reasoning as costs do not pose an enormous impact. On top of this, the Pentagon argued that the new policy didn’t ban transgender people as they could “pretend they’re not and serve as their birth sex.”
Now, Joe Biden’s administration has now begun the ban’s reversal process. It is argued that this military ban prevents qualified individuals who score above average on the fitness tests required by the military, merely because of their identity. This is true for Nic Tibbott, who has tried joining for years, but was denied because of his female to male transition. He was able to score a 97 out of 100 on these tests, a score above average. He has shared his frustration on several platforms and even as far as being interviewed for news outlets. Tibbott reports the betrayal he felt and the frustration he continues to have with the American government.
Biden justified his reason for revoking the ban by stating, “I hope we can all agree that Americans should be able to participate in all aspects of life with dignity and respect, and without fear of discrimination.” The reversal has caused ease within the transgender community, especially to those who wanted to join the military. This has been viewed as a progressive move and separation of the 45th’s presidents ideals, which were deemed discriminatory.