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‘Dozens, if not hundreds’ of trans people have defied Donald Trump to sign up for the military

Josh Jackman January 16, 2018
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach on January 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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As many as hundreds of transgender people have signed up to join the US military, in direct defiance of President Donald Trump’s attempted ban.

Trump announced on Twitter last year that all trans servicepeople would be purged from the US armed forces, claiming they were a burden on the military.

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump gestures as he boards Airforce One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland on January 12, 2018, for a weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago.  / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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The President tweeted: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

US President Donald Trump (R) speaks beside House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (L) at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach on January 14, 2018.  / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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But after losing a string of legal battles, his administration was forced to admit defeat.

With nothing to stop them from continuing to follow former President Barack Obama’s guidance, the Pentagon began to accept trans people on January 1.

Two weeks later, advocates are saying that dozens, if not hundreds are rushing to join the thousands of trans people already serving their country.

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach on January 14, 2018.  / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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That figure includes Bianca Wright, from Seattle, who has been waiting to re-join the military even since she left to transition following 14 years of service.

Wright, who served in Iraq, told Reuters that after Trump’s announcement – a decision which was reportedly made impulsively and ignorantly – all her plans “came crashing down.”

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 25: Demonstrators protest for transgender rights on February 25, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The demonstrators were angry with President Donald Trumps recent decision to reverse the Obama-era policy requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Nicholas Bade, 37, has wanted to join the military since he was a child, but only if he could be accepted for his true self.

“I just couldn’t face the idea of doing it as a traditional female,” said Bade, who applied at a Chicago Air Force office last week.

Protesters gather in front of the White House on July 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. Trump announced on July 26 that transgender people may not serve "in any capacity" in the US military, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" their presence would cause. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
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And he said that when it came to attitudes within the military towards trans people, the issue was simply moot.

“The people I know in the military have said: ‘I don’t care what your gender identity is, as long as you can do your job,’” Bade said.

Protesters gather in front of the White House July 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. Trump announced on July 26 that transgender people may not serve "in any capacity" in the US military, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" their presence would cause. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Trump administration is still trying to enforce its ban, but prospective trans servicepeople said that they were optimistic.

“I‘m not worried,” said Logan Downs, a 23-year-old from Oregon, who is signing up to join the Air Force.

Protesters of the trans military ban
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Nicolas Talbott, 24, from Ohio, was one of those to challenge Trump’s attempted ban in court.

He said: “We’re definitely not out of the woods yet, but we have so much momentum.”

Talbott planned to finish his Air Force National Guard enlistment paperwork this week.

More: Donald Trump, gender, military, Politics, Trans, Transgender, US, US

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