23 S. Cal. Interdisc. L.J. 185 (2014)
The Invisible Army: Why the Military Needs to Rescind Its Ban on Transgender Service Members

handle is hein.journals/scid23 and id is 195 raw text is: THE INVISIBLE ARMY: WHY THE
MILITARY NEEDS TO RESCIND ITS BAN
ON TRANSGENDER SERVICE MEMBERS
ALLISON Ross*
I. INTRODUCTION
The U.S. military received great media and public attention due to the
well-publicized repeal of the sexual orientation exclusion law referred to as
Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' The repeal was an important step toward
realizing a fully integrated military and recognizing that gay, lesbian, and
bisexual persons are capable of serving openly while having successful
military careers. However, for many in the transgender community, the
repeal was simply another bridesmaid moment;2 although the military
now allows gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons to serve openly, members of
the transgender community are still categorically barred from service
because of medical and psychological regulations.3 The military must
rescind its ban on transgender persons from serving and recognize that
there is nothing that makes this group inherently or uniformly unfit for the
military.4
.   Class of 2014, University of Southern California Gould School of Law; B.A. Women's
Studies, 2009, Vassar College. My sincere thanks to Professor David Cruz for his insight and continued
guidance with this Note. Thank you to the Editors and Staff of the Southern California Interdisciplinary
Law Journal for their hard work and careful editing. Special thanks to Professor Lydia Murdoch, my
advisor at Vassar, for igniting my passion for Gender Studies, and to my parents for their unwavering
encouragement and support.
I.  Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a Congressional, legal ban on lesbians, gays, and bisexuals
serving in the military. SHARON ALEXANDER, ET AL., THE SURVIVAL GUIDE: A COMPREHENSIVE
GUIDE TO DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL AND RELATED MILITARY POLICIES 7 (2007). The ban only
applied to lesbians, gays, and bisexual persons but had been incorrectly applied to heterosexual
transgender persons. Id. at 13.
2.  Lisa Leff, Transgender Vets Want Military Access for Own, ASSOCIATED PRESS ONLINE
(Jan. 11, 2011), http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011 /01/ap-transgender-veterans-01 I1 11.
3. See Matthew F. Kerrigan, Transgender Discrimination in the Military: The New Don't Ask,
Don 't Tell, 18 PSYCHOL. PUB. POL'Y. & L. 500, 505 (2012).
4.  Nothing in this Note suggests that transgender persons need not qualify under other
regulations, such as those imposing hearing and height requirements. See, e.g., U.S. DEPT. OF ARMY,
REG. 40-501, STANDARDS OF MEDICAL FITNESS 1 2-7 (stating, for instance, that hearing aids do not
meet the standard); 1 2-20 (stating that men shorter than sixty inches and taller than eighty inches, and
women shorter than fifty-eight inches and taller than eighty inches, do not meet the standard) (Aug.
2011) [hereinafter STANDARDS OF MEDICAL FITNESS].
185

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