Watch: Transgender Austin Soldier Thanks US Government For Lifting Military Ban
The Pentagon announced on July 1st that the US govt. was officially lifting the ban on transgender people who wished serve in the military.Advertisement
This comes as a boon for many transgender soldiers, including Leo Carpenter of Austin, who had been hiding his real identity from the world until now.
Even though it would take another few months for transgender soldiers to enjoy the same rights as their army mates, it is definitely a step up in the right direction.
Starting October 1st 2016, people of the transgender community would have access to medical benefits and set the record straight on their gender in the military’s personnel system, reported CNN.
Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, announced the decision to dissolve this ban, which seemed like a natural move after the military welcomed homosexual and bisexual members of the society into their realm in the past couple of years.
What is more astonishing is the rare knowledge that there is already 11,000 transgender people serving in the military, either in an active or reserved capacity, reported KXAN. However, most of them had been forced to keep their real gender a secret.
Such an example is Leo Carpenter of Austin who ended up transitioning from female to male after he enlisted to serve in the US military. He expressed his relief at the govt. doing away with the ban on transgender military members.
“Well I was always afraid of losing the benefits I worked so hard for, you know educational benefits, you know, being transgender and now they can’t do that to me,” he said.
Leo further stated that he was unaware of any ban on transgender people who served in the military till he moved to the reserves.
“My commander was okay with it. She welcomed me. She hugged me. She told me it was going to be okay and that she supported me,” said Leo.
Leo is glad that people like him will finally get the amount of respect that people of any other gender are shown in the military because they have been risking their lives for their country as much as the others.
After all, Leo says, in the noble mission that every soldier serves, the only thing that should be taken into account is their qualification and nothing else.
Watch Leo Carpenter depict his journey in the US military below.
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