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Position Statement Opposing Ban of Trans in Military

Update: JANUARY 25, 2021 | Executive Order on Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform 

"It is my conviction as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces that gender identity should not be a bar to military service.  Moreover, there is substantial evidence that allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military does not have any meaningful negative impact on the Armed Forces. To that end, in 2016, a meticulous, comprehensive study requested by the Department of Defense found that enabling transgender individuals to serve openly in the United States military would have only a minimal impact on military readiness and healthcare costs. The study also concluded that open transgender service has had no significant impact on operational effectiveness or unit cohesion in foreign militaries. - Therefore, it shall be the policy of the United States to ensure that all transgender individuals who wish to serve in the United States military and can meet the appropriate standards shall be able to do so openly and free from discrimination."

We thank the Biden Administration for this action and the countless voices who fought against this block on transgender Americans serving in the military.

To those who serve in the armed forces, we thank you for your valiant service and we stand with you.

The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) is opposed to the current policy of the Trump Administration and the US Department of Defense regarding blocking transgender Americans from serving in the United States military. We join other organizations such as the American Medical Associationthe American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers, as well as former Surgeons General M. Joycelyn Elders and David Satcher in opposing the ban on transgender troops and questioning the Defense Department’s rationale for excluding transgender people from service.

There is a robust body of reputable, peer-reviewed research that has demonstrated that the treatments for gender dysphoria are effective. We concur with the AMA, the APA, and the Surgeons General that the US Department of Defense has mischaracterized the available scientific evidence in order to stigmatize transgender Americans and limit their ability to serve in the military. The science clearly shows that transgender individuals who are adequately treated for gender dysphoria are not mentally unstable, nor is there reason to believe that treatment would detract from their readiness.

Moreover, we agree with the RAND Corporation study of transgender troops in the military that concluded that “the number (of transgender troops) would likely be a small fraction of the total force and have minimal impact on readiness and health care costs.”

There is no medical or practical reason to exclude transgender individuals from military service. Transgender people have served, and continue to serve, our country with honor, and we believe they should continue to do so. We implore the Defense Department, Defense Secretary Mattis, and President Trump to reverse this ill-advised directive.