Openly transgender individuals are now able to enlist in the U.S. military, after the Justice Department on Friday made clear that its proposed ban on such recruits was on hold and that it would not appeal federal court rulings ordering the military to begin the enlistments.
“It's a victory for trans people, and it's a victory for the military," said Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been fighting the ban in court. "There is no reason whatsoever why people who can meet the rigid and very strict standards for enlistment should be barred from doing so simply because they are transgender."
Friday’s announcement came as a welcome relief for Nicolas Talbott, a 24-year-old transgender recruit from Lisbon, Ohio, who has been planning to join the Air Force for nearly two years.
“All I’m waiting for now is a phone call back from my recruiter,” he told NBC News, adding that the past few months have been “an absolute roller coaster” for him.
Transgender people have been able to serve openly since June 2016, but this month is the first time they can be open about their gender identity in the enlistment process. Despite this, however, the future of transgender people in the military remains uncertain. Read more via NBC