On Dec. 11, the Department of Defense announced that it would again allow transgender citizens to enlist in the military starting on Jan. 1, 2018, ending months of uncertainty after President Donald Trump announced a ban on transgender troops in a July tweetstorm. The rebuke of Trump’s ban came after a federal judge againdenied a White House request to delay the enlistment of transgender recruits, due to the administration’s claims about its potential impact on the U.S. armed forces. After months of litigation, it’s possible the Supreme Court will end up finally deciding the future of transgender recruits.
In 1898, on a sweltering summer day in mid August, Army Pvt. James Neely of the all-black 25th Infantry Regiment was on leave in the small town of Hampton, Georgia, on a day pass from his post at Fort Hobson.