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Trans National Guard member speaks of ‘tremendous relief’ after Joe Biden ends shameful trans military ban

Patrick Kelleher January 26, 2021
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Blaire McIntyre trans military ban

Blaire McIntyre has spoken of her relief after Joe Biden signed an executive order that consigned Donald Trump's trans military ban to the scrapheap. (Blaire McIntyre/ Facebook)

A trans woman who served in the Michigan National Guard has spoken of her “tremendous relief” after Joe Biden reversed Trump’s discriminatory ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Biden fulfilled one of his campaign promises on Monday (25 January) when he signed an executive order abolishing Trump’s toxic anti-LGBT+ policy.

Trans woman Blaire McIntyre was one of many members of the community who found themselves left out in the cold by Trump’s policy.

McIntyre had filed a lawsuit asking a judge to declare Trump’s trans military ban unconstitutional, but she said on Monday that she will now drop her lawsuit following Biden’s history-making intervention, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“I feel like I am really exhaling today for the first time in a long time,” McIntyre said in a statement released through her attorney Shannon Minter.

“It is a tremendous relief to know that I will now be able to go to work every day and give my all without worrying that I could be discharged just because of who I am.

“I’m incredibly grateful to see this ban overturned for myself, my family and for the thousands of other transgender service members who are dedicated to our work and our service.”

Minter, who also serves as legal director for the National Centre for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco, said Biden’s executive order is “really important”.

“Military service has always been an important avenue for transgender people to move ahead in the world”, he said, noting that “everybody gets a chance to be a leader” in the military.

Joe Biden praised for scrapping Trump’s trans military ban.

Biden won praise from LGBT+ rights organisations when he signed an order allowing trans people to serve openly in the US military on Monday.

The executive order directs the Department of Defence to scrap the vile policy, which was announced by Donald Trump via tweet in 2017 without any consultation with military leaders.

Biden will revert to the procedures first put in place under the Obama administration that allows transgender service members to serve openly once again, prohibiting “involuntary separations, discharges and denials of re-enlistment… on the basis of gender identity”.

The White House said in a statement: “President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity. This question of how to enable all qualified Americans to serve in the military is easily answered by recognising our core values.”

Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David praised Biden for signing the executive order, saying: “For years, transgender patriots were forced to continue to hide their identity while serving in our military. But today, thanks to president Joe Biden, secretary Lloyd Austin, and pro-equality voters across America, they may live and serve openly as themselves.

“The government will begin the process to eliminate an arbitrary and discriminatory executive action that has not only harmed transgender service members but our entire military. The greatest military in the world will again value readiness over bias, and qualifications over discrimination.”

Related topics: Blaire McIntyre, Donald Trump, joe biden, trans military ban

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