SOUTHERN OREGON/ WASHINGTON D.C-- After the supreme court made the announcement on the ban, the pentagon made a clarification that this ban is not on all transgender people.
It is targeting those with gender dysphoria. That is a mental conflict between a person's assigned sex and gender and what they identify with. If a military person is diagnosed with this they won't be allowed to serve. If they are not diagnosed they are able to serve but have to do so in the sex they were assigned at birth.
According to Williams Institute at UCLA about 15,000 transgender people are in the US military. Roughly half are active duty and the other half are serving in the guard or reserve forces.
Gina Duquenne is the president of southern Oregon pride. She says "doesn't make any difference what their gender is."
She tells me it feels as though the administration and the country are taking steps backwards when it comes to the LGBTQ plus community,
Gina says " I feel as if the LGBTQ plus community we have worked so hard to get everything that we have gotten and as far as we have gotten and the administration that we have in place right now is chipping away at our rights."
Gina is not only a voice for the community, but is apart of it.
Gina says " I feel as a lesbian woman of color it's important to let everyone be themselves and live their truths."
This change isn't out of the blue. In July of 2017 President Trump sent out a serious of tweets announcing he wanted to implement this ban, with medical costs being the reason why.
Gina says, "people put their lives on the line so that i can have my freedom and that is the important thing not what gender they are."
A transgender solider is making her voice heard nationally. Saying this ban won't change anything.
Staff SGT. Patricia King a transgender soldier says "transgender people have been serving in the military for as long as the United States has had a military. We've done it in silence."
Gina tells me she hopes more steps backward aren't in the future.
Gina says, "when you have fought as hard as we have. To see things chipped away and taken away step by step it's not a good feeling, it doesn't make you feel good."
Today Newswatch 12's Leah Thompson reached out to the American Legion, Medford National Guard and the Medford National Guard Recruiting Office to get there opinion on this new ban. I also want to know how many transgender military personnel are in Southern Oregon or Oregon.
When we do get that information we will post it on here.