Trans military hopefuls ‘ready, willing and qualified’ for Joe Biden to overturn Trump’s disgraceful ban

Patrick Kelleher November 9, 2020
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Joe Biden slams Donald Trump for ignoring violence against trans women

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio, the day after the first presidential debate between him and Donald Trump. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Trans military hopefuls are “qualified, willing and ready” for Joe Biden to overturn Donald Trump’s infamous trans military ban.

Joe Biden – who was declared the winner of the presidential election on Saturday (November 7) – has pledged to reverse Trump’s discriminatory ban on trans people in the military, and members of the community are eager to serve.

Nic Talbott, a trans man who has filed a lawsuit in federal courts challenging Trump’s archaic ban, told Reuters that he was in the process of joining the Air Force National Guard when Trump introduced his ban, meaning he was prohibited from pursuing his lifelong dream.

“I was incredibly emotional when I first heard the news of Mr Biden’s victory,” Talbott said.

“Our military members are already asked to make enormous sacrifices and our transgender military members and recruits should not be asked to sacrifice their authentic identities in addition to everything else,” he said.

Meanwhile, John Roberts, also a trans man, told Reuters in April that he was “ready, willing and qualified” to serve in the National Guard.

He said the ban was “probably the most frustrating thing I’ve had to deal with in my entire life”, adding: “I’m ready, I’m here, I’m willing, I’m qualified. I want to get out there. And I want to help.”

Trump first announced on Twitter in July 2017 that he would be banning trans people from serving in the military. The ban came into force in April 2019 following a series of legal challenges, and plunged trans service people into uncertainty and fear in the process.

Writing on Twitter at the time, Trump said: “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.”

Biden vowed during his campaign to “flat out change the law” to end to reverse Trump’s hateful transphobia, including his ban on trans people serving in the military, his weakening of non-discrimination protections, and his removal of the word transgender from government websites.

More: Donald Trump, john roberts, Nic Talbott, trans military ban

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