Transgender military ban: Navy allows sailors to express gender while off-duty

US Navy trans military ban

The US Navy has announced that transgender sailors will be allowed to dress in accordance with their gender while off-duty, as Donald Trump’s trans military ban rolls in.

“There is no policy that prohibits the ability of a service member to express themselves off-duty in their preferred gender,” states guidance released by the Navy on Thursday (April 11).

“Appropriate civilian attire, as outlined in the uniform regulations, will not be determined based on gender.”

“Appropriate civilian attire will not be determined based on gender.”

—US Navy

The clarification came on the eve of the transgender ban coming into effect.

Under the policy, anybody who comes out or is outed as trans may be dismissed unless they suppress their gender identity.

Transgender military ban makes exceptions

Provisions have been made for active service people who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, including those who have medically transitioned.

Gender confirmation surgeries will not be permitted, unless they are to “protect the health” of those who have already begun their transition.

After April 12, those who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria will only be allowed to serve under the gender they were assigned at birth.

A doctor will have to certify that they have been stable in that gender for 36 months, have not medically transitioned and will not do so.

Trans people without a diagnosis may serve under the gender they were assigned at birth, but only if they have not had any confirmation surgeries.

Joe Kennedy at a rally with the White House just behind

Democratic lawmakers joined activists to rally against the transgender military service ban. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Navy is the only branch of the military to make exemptions for off-duty service people, though it says that restrictions on attire may be introduced “to meet local conditions and host-nation agreements with foreign countries.”

“All service members are expected to continue to treat each other with dignity and respect,” the guidance added. “There is zero tolerance for harassment, hazing or bullying of any service member in any form.”

Trans service people will lose jobs

Almost two years after Trump first announced it in a series of tweets, the ban will be enforced from Friday (April 12).

As a result, an estimated 13,700 trans people are expected to lose their job, according to the Palm Center.

The LGBT+ research institute has said that just 937 will be allowed to continue serving under the grandfather exemptions, but notes that this part of the policy may well be revoked.

“Fully 100% of transgender troops are threatened and stigmatised by this ban,” Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, said on April 9.