President Biden repeals transgender military ban


On January 25, within the first five days of his presidency, President Joe Biden repealed a Trump-era ban of the enrollment of transgender individuals in the U.S. military. 

In March 2019, former President Donald Trump and his administration introduced plans to begin the transgender military ban on April 12 of that year.  The order stated that any of the thousands of current transgender service members who come out, or is found out, after April 12 and is not willing to renounce and suppress their identity will be subject to discharge.  An exception was created from those who managed to transition completely in the following 30 days to the effective date that they may serve under a “cloud of suspicion” and will not be allowed to return if they leave the military for any length of time.  

Ella Spremulli, junior at Chagrin Falls High School, commented that she felt “really disappointed and sad” and furthered that “[transgender people] already have to overcome a lot of hurdles other people don’t have to and I think that taking that away from them is really discouraging and cruel.”

By being a part of a minority, transgender people face struggles many cisgendered people don’t have to.  Taking away a career path and the honor of serving for your country was a step backwards in American history. 

Luckily, with the incoming Biden-Harris administration, the repeal of this ban is already in motion as of his first week in office.  On January 25, Biden signed an executive order returning a policy of trans inclusion in the armed forces, similar to one implemented by the Obama administration in 2016.

“It gives [transgender people] more opportunity to pursue what they want” and “it normalizes transgender people doing things that cisgender people get to do,” said  junior Sophia Parrino in an interview on this repeal. 

By securing trans rights, President Biden re-opens opportunities in the service for people of all genders and identities.

What might this mean for transgender youth? Most contend that young Americans who wish to serve their country now have an opportunity to give back and serve no matter what gender they identify with.  

“It takes away some of the discrimination we’ve seen in this country against minority groups,” explains, junior Colin Joyce.  He explains, “I think that’s a good first step in acceptance because I think we need a lot more of that in this country right now.”

Joyce’s remarks address the issues in the status quo with the evident moral divide in the U.S. following the recent election. Now, with Americans witnessing reforming policies from the Biden administration that, similar to removing the transgender ban in the military, aim to insure diversity and equality. 

With inclusiveness on the rise in the military, policy makers on either side of the spectrum begin to question what exactly this means for the future of the military. 

Spremulli predicted that, “it opens new doors and different perspectives.” By introducing new opportunities for LGBTQA+ youth in the armed forces, the repeal allows older generations, especially veterans, to consider newer attitudes regarding gender transitions and identity. 

In any policy change, however, opposing opinions among harsh, ignorant citizens pierce through the rather enlightening and progressive step towards inclusion. 

To this, Joyce urged, “if you are to join the military and you say you’re not okay with that, you need to rethink your stance.”

Evidently, with each change in policy, especially within the first days of a newer administration, opposing sides will make an effort to counter these changes.

Regardless of the efforts opposers attempt to pursue in the first 100 days of the presidency, commonly the most significant period for newly inaugurated presidents, they have no power to overturn these actions.  

Parrino hoped, “soon enough they will realize there’s not much they can do about it and just learn to accept it.”

As the ban’s repeal has immediately taken effect, it turns the page for the next four years with the Biden administration.

Even with Biden and Harris’s first weeks in office, policies and orders similar to removing the transgender military ban come flooding in.  It seems as though these policies guarantee rights and protect liberties for a plethora of minorities.

As these progressive changes executively sweep across America, in the face of ignorance and pessimism, Joyce asserts, “They’re just living their life and you have to move on with yours.”