Staff Sgt. Patricia King has been proud to deploy downrange three times in her 18-year Army career. But she may have to resign without retirement benefits if President Trump re-imposes a ban on transgender troops serving in the military.
A federal judge has blocked parts of President Donald Trump's presidential memo banning transgender Americans from military service, setting up a court dispute that the White House and its critics could possibly pursue to the Supreme Court.
After a year of deliberation, the Defense Department made the controversial decision to lift the ban on transgender service members on June 30. The decision follows a number of inclusionary practices adopted by the military over the last few years — including the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the move to allow women to serve in all combat positions.
Six days after the Pentagon announced it was ending the ban on transgender service members in the United States military, the highest profile transgender soldier in the U.S. Army was rushed to the hospital after reportedly attempting suicide.
Last year, a former Navy SEAL known as Christopher Beck came out as Kristin, a transgender woman, after 20 years of service in one of the most demanding, courageous, and tightly knit military units on earth. In a June 2013 interview with Anderson Cooper, Kristin articulated the effect of the U.S. military’s ban on transgender service: A life in the shadows, constantly suppressing one of the most fundamental aspects of her identity for fear of the shame, humiliation, and punishment associated with being discovered. In 20 years, she says, “no one ever met the real me.”