In a series of tweets Wednesday, President Donald Trump said transgender people will be barred from serving in the U.S. military “in any capacity.”
“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” he wrote.
In 2015, the National Center for Transgender Equality estimated 15,000 trans people served in the U.S. military.
The Pentagon ended the ban on transgender people in the military last year, placing the United States in the company of at least 18 other countries that allow trans people to serve in their militaries, according to a 2014 report from the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies.
Researchers behind the “LGBT Military Personnel: a Strategic Vision for Inclusion” report analyzed policies regarding LGBT inclusion in more than 100 countries and ranked them based on five principles: admission, tolerance, exclusion and persecution — each determined by a total of 19 different indicators, including transgender personnel.
Here are 18 countries that allow trans military personnel, according to the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies report:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
But even those countries that researchers found inclusive to trans military members, several have set specific policies regarding trans personnel.
For example, in the United Kingdom, trans individuals should have finished transitioning before they serve.
It’s similar in Belgium, where policies state a person must undergo surgery and sterilization for the military to recognize their identified gender.
Australia’s Air Force, on the other hand, offers assistance in transitioning.
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