As we mark America’s Independence Day today, we also celebrate another milestone in American history: The end of the ban on transgender Americans serving openly in our military.
On Thursday, the Department of Defense finally dropped the ban, making the U.S. the 19th nation, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Israel, to allow transgender people to serve openly in their militaries.
While we celebrate this newfound liberty and independence for transgender service members to live openly and authentically, we know there is more work to do for the transgender community.
In 2015, we saw more reported killings of transgender women of color than ever before in the U.S. Additionally, the transgender community continues to face disproportionate levels of poverty, homelessness, employment discrimination, violence and HIV.
On this Fourth of July, we reaffirm our commitment to the transgender community, ensuring that transgender people around the globe are granted life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as we embark on a continued journey for progress, equality and change.