Activists rally at the U.S. Capitol April 10, 2019, against the transgender military service ban.
Photo: Getty

In “if it looks like a duck, it’s a duck” news, the Trump administration today got to implement its ban on allowing transgender people from serving in the military.

After finally prevailing in court after numerous challenges over the last two years, the Pentagon on Friday got to finally make all of Donald Trump’s dreams come true, based on this set of tweets from July 2017:

Advertisement

The Pentagon on Friday insisted the change was not a ban, with a spokeswoman telling BuzzFeed News, “Absolutely not,” in saying that trans people were not banned by the policy, which does prohibit:

... service members who appear transgender or act transgender by failing to meet grooming, uniform, and other military standards for their birth sex. It also bans people from enlisting in the armed forces if they have transitioned from their “biological sex” to another gender.

Advertisement

People in the military who came out as transgender in 2016, when the Obama administration opened military service to trans people, and Friday will be grandfathered in and can stay in the military.

“We are not going to hunt down transgender individuals and punish them for being transgender,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Carla M. Gleason told BuzzFeed.

Advertisement

However, Gleason acknowledged that people identifying as transgender would not be able to undergo sex reassignment medical treatments, nor dress or appear in any way that did not conform to their birth gender.

Soooo, a member of this nation’s armed forces can be transgender as long as they don’t do anything that for all intents and purposes would actually identify them as transgender.

Advertisement

As Politico put it:

In practical terms, this means that if you’re serving in uniform and it becomes known that you are transgender, your commander has authority to start a process that can end in your dismissal. It’s out of your control. Hiding your identity — rather than serving openly as who you are — is the only safe option.

Advertisement

It all sounds like a duck a ban to me. As well as to LGBT groups and prominent members of the transgender community like actress Laverne Cox:

Advertisement

Members of the medical profession are also critical of the new “policy,” saying that gender dysphoria, the medical name for having a discomfort with one’s birth gender, is a real thing and that like any medical condition should be allowed to be treated with the same high standard of care one would expect for any other condition.

Advertisement

“The only thing deficient is any medical science behind this decision,” the [American Medical Association] said in a statement to BuzzFeed. “The AMA has said repeatedly that there is no medically valid reason — including a diagnosis of gender dysphoria — to exclude transgender individuals from military service. Transgender service members should, as is the case with all personnel, receive the medical care they need. There is a global medical consensus about the efficacy of transgender health care, including treatment for gender dysphoria.”

Arguing that not all transgender people have gender dysphoria, the Pentagon still insists trans people are welcome in the military. Remember?:

“We are not going to hunt down transgender individuals and punish them for being transgender.”

Advertisement

Right, Jan.