By Shannon Minter, Esq., NCLR Legal Director
On January 1, for the first time in history, transgender Americans will be able to openly enlist in our nation’s military. This is an incredible moment, and one we can all celebrate.
We know that many transgender Americans have been planning and preparing for over a year for this day. And many others will now begin considering this as a real option for the very first time.
The military has put considerable time into preparing for this day, and has developed guidelines for those charged with processing new recruits. If you are planning to begin the enlistment process in January or in the coming months, we encourage you to connect with a knowledgeable recruiter, or with an organization like SPART*A or OUTSERVE-SLDN, to ensure you understand the guidelines and requirements.
It is in the interest of both the military and our community for the enlistment process to go smoothly, and we believe it will. That said, it is possible there will be small hiccups as things get underway. If you do encounter anything confusing or concerning, we encourage you to remain calm, and know that it does not mean the problem will be ongoing. Do reach out to one of our legal organizations and let us know of your concern:
Military service is a serious and admirable undertaking. We are grateful for the many courageous transgender Americans who are currently serving and who will begin serving soon, with dignity and honor.
GLAD and NCLR