Trump's transgender troop ban is taking effect, but some life-altering details are still a mystery


Donald Trump’s transgender troop ban is going into effect now … but it’s not clear what “going into effect” means for a ban that’s been cobbled together based on Trump’s tweets and whims. There are around 14,700 troops whose lives will be directly affected by the ban, and, Dan Spinelli reports for Mother Jones, “questions remain about how the military plans to interpret it and what impact the ban will have on service members who have already enlisted.”

There will be different rules and standards for troops who already have an official gender dysphoria diagnosis and those who don’t already have a diagnosis as of April 12. The latter “won’t be able to receive hormones or undergo sex-transition surgery. They will also be forced to adhere to the standards of their birth sex—determining everything from their names on paperwork to the length of their hair[.]”

Transgender enlistees can apply for a waiver, but while those are routine for people with a history of drug use, it’s unlikely to be so easy for gender identity. For one thing, the guidance for granting such waivers will differ between the branches of the military, and the Marines and Air Force wouldn’t even tell Mother Jones if they had developed rules for that.

In short, it’s a giant Trump-style mess, starting with pointless bigotry and a whim-driven president on through to a confused, sloppy implementation. And people’s lives are on the line.

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