The Department of Defence dropped a five-point Q&A yesterday (13 March) clarifying their trans troops ban is… not a ban.
In a listicle of ‘five things you should know about the new DOD policy,’ the DOD outlined the transphobic policy change, complete with a Pride flag as the cover image.
Trump’s administration has until 12 April to enforce the ban.
What are the five points?
The five points are:
1 The policy does not ‘ban’ trans individuals.
2 ‘Some’ trans folk may continue to serve, as long as the haven’t already undergone gender-confirmation surgery.
3 Based on ‘consultations,’ they concluded gender dysphoria ‘could adversely impact unit readiness and combat effectiveness.’
4 The ‘significant distress’ caused by being trans.
5 How all trans people cannot serve until ‘their transition is complete.’
The points examined
Beginning with the DOD’s own definition of trans identities, it goes onto state emphatically: ‘The new DOD policy doesn’t ban transgender individuals from service.’
But all soldiers must ‘meet all military standards, including the standards associated with their biological sex.’
The apparent loophole the DOD attempts is how a trans individual who has not had gender-confirmation surgery and identities as trans can still enlist.
However, said individual must serve in their ‘biological sex.’
‘Transgender service members may continue to serve’
It goes onto say how trans service members will ‘continue to serve’ according to their ‘preferred gender.’
Though, this does mildly contradict a leaked memo that revealed the US military will discharge trans service members ‘unable or unwilling to adhere to all applicable standards.’
‘Including the standards associated with his or her biological sex, or seeks transition to another gender.’
‘The new policy is focused on enhancing readiness,’ it goes onto say, ‘and comes after consultation with military and medical experts.
‘To maintain a military force that is worldwide deployable and combat effective, the military must set high standards.’
The points purport that trans individuals would ‘could adversely impact unit readiness and combat effectiveness.’
No more ‘special accommodations’
When outlining ‘gender dysphoria,’ the DOD claim the ‘clinically significant distress’ it causes is grounds for the ban.
While its final point concerns the ‘special accommodations’ eliminated by the DOD’s policy change.
The difference? ‘Individuals who have undergone either hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery for gender dysphoria will no longer be able to join the military without a waiver.’
Moreover, trans folk ‘must adhere to the standards associated with their biological sex unless they are diagnosed with gender dysphoria and undergo gender transition.’
Finally, the point ends: ‘These sex-based standards – such as physical fitness and body fat standards – are based on male and female physiology, not gender identity.’
Tracking the trans troops ban
While Trump first instituted the ban in 2017, he received widespread backlash to his decision.
A month after that, he issued a memorandum declaring the end of trans service at the start of 2018.
Trump issued a new policy in March 2018, a more watered-down version of his initial expansive plan.
His efforts to reverse the Obama’s administration’s pro-trans policies was subject to four court challenges.
However, last week the US Supreme court struck down all four injunctions. Lifting blocks on the ban.