US Air Force: Trans people shouldn’t be automatically banned from service
The US Air Force has directed that trans people shouldn’t be automatically banned from active service – but failed to open up the rules entirely.
The US Military maintains a blanket ban on transgender people under outdated medical regulations – which disqualifies people from service if they have “current or history of psychosexual conditions, including but not limited to transsexualism, exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism, and other paraphilias”.
Though the patchwork regulations maintain a ban, the US Air Force has directed that trans people should not be removed from active service automatically.
The decision is seen as a step towards the removal of the ban, by removing the authority from lower-ranked officers.
A statement said: “Neither gender dysphoria nor self-identification as transgender is an automatic circumstance that generates involuntary separation.
However, it did not remove the power entirely, saying: “A recommendation for discharge because of gender dysphoria must be supported by a report of evaluation by a psychiatrist or Ph.D.-level clinical psychologist.
“In addition, after consultation with medical professionals, there must be a commander determination that the condition interferes with duty requirements — including potential deployment — or duty performance.
“Identification as transgender, absent a record of poor duty performance, misconduct, or a medically disqualifying condition, is not a basis for involuntary separation.
“If command recommends involuntary separation of an enlisted Airman for gender dysphoria or for another reason and the enlisted Airman has self-identified as transgender, separation action will be reviewed by the Secretary of the Air Force Personnel Council for recommendation, and then to the AFRBA director, for decision.”
Daniel Sitterly, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, said: “Though the Air Force policy regarding involuntary separation of gender dysphoric Airmen has not changed, the elevation of decision authority to the director, Air Force Review Boards Agency, ensures the ability to consistently apply the existing policy.”