Biden Reverses Ban On Transgender Military Personnel. Is It Enough?


ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday reversing a ban that prohibited transgender people from serving in the military. Former President Trump implemented the ban in 2019.

Amy Stephens is a transgender woman and a graduate student at SUNY Brockport. CREDIT PROVIDED BY AMY STEPHENS

According to the Palm Center, a research institute focusing on LGBTQ personnel matters in the military, just under 15,000 transgender people were in the military in 2018.

“There are thousands of transgender members of the military who serve proudly and honorably and this has been a great distraction to them and to many of those who wanted to serve but haven’t been able,” said Amy Stephens, a transgender woman and a graduate student at SUNY Brockport.

The military ban was one of several measures installed by the former Trump administration that removed protections for transgender people in education, healthcare, and in the workforce.

Stephens said she’d like to see the Equal Rights Amendment ratified during Biden’s term, which would guarantee equal rights for all U.S. citizens, regardless of their sex.

“What we still need is the Equality Act to be passed,” said Stephens. “Without that major legislation, we’re still subject to the whim of the president.”