More than 100 military personnel seek to transition in first months of new trans policy
Over a hundred trans troops have approached their superior officers to say they want to transition since the US Military changed its policy on trans troops.
The more than a hundred troops have come forward since the Military changed its practice on 1 October 2016.
A Navy spokesman, Lieutenant Commander Nate Christensen said there were 55 sailors and officers who said they would transition.
USA Today also reports that there are 48 airmen who want to seek support for a gender identity issue, according to Major William Lewis of the US Air Force.
At least ten soldiers from the US Army have also come forward to be officially recognised as transitioning, General Mark Milley, the Army’s Chief of Staff said.
“Today, we know of approximately 55 sailors who have waited for this policy to be finalised, and desire a gender transition,” Vice Admiral Robert Burke wrote in an email which was seen by USA TODAY.
“With few exceptions, these sailors have had faith that the Navy would come through, and they observed all regulations and standards applicable to their birth gender.”
Speaking of “exceptions”, Burke refers to those who sought treatment for gender dysphoria before the new policy was announced by the Pentagon in October.
“We would ask that your leaders assist our sailors in conforming to Navy regulations and uphold Navy standards of conduct as we navigate this change,” Burke added.
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The US military in June announced that it had ended a ban on transgender troops – a process which it said would take a year.
Gay, lesbian and bisexual people had been permitted to openly serve in the US military since 2013, when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed.
However, the US military continued to ban transgender people from serving under outdated medical regulations – which disqualifies people from service if they have “current or history of psychosexual conditions, including but not limited to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”.
The Pentagon had come under increasing pressure to amend regulations and allow trans people to serve, with Defence Secretary Ash Carter repeatedly promising reform on the issue.