Senate confirms Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary

Trans Military Ban
Staff Sgt. Patricia King (L)                                                              Def Sec Lloyd Austin (R)
Lloyd Austin
Staff Sgt. Patricia King (L)                                                              Def Sec Lloyd Austin (R)

The Senate on Friday confirmed Lloyd Austin as the nation’s first Black defense secretary, a combat veteran, and the second Biden nominee to be confirmed by the chamber.

Defense secretary nominee Lloyd Austin said during confirmation hearings that he supports overturning Trump’s ban on transgender military service.⁠

“If you are fit and you’re qualified to serve, and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve.” ⁠

Staff Sgt. Patricia King came out in 2915 as the Army’s First Out Trans Infantry Woman when Secretary Ashcroft began working on President Obama’s plan.

Some lawmakers had expressed concern about granting another waiver for Austin after they had done so for Trump’s first defense secretary Jim Mattis, but they ultimately supported Austin. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., said on the House floor he had “no concern whatsoever about Lloyd Austin upholding civilian control of the military.”


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Obama Administration first discussed allowing Trans Military Service in 2015. After careful consideration, a year later, Secretary Ashcroft announced that trans people could serve openly.

Trump’s midnight tweet announcing his ban on transgender people serving was spurious and without merit, catching those who were serving openly by complete surprise. He also caught all four services and his Defense Secretary unaware. There were no plans in place, it was a move done in bad faith to satisfy his hate.

Some who I had interviewed for planet Trans articles contacted us and told us they had to go back into the closet in order to continue serving.

Trump’s vicious attack on veterans and active duty service members will be remembered as one of his most reviled of all times.  Trans people served honorably and we salute those who are carrying on the trans tradition.

We look forward to when trump’s ban is lifted and we can serve openly again.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender