(Washington, D.C.) – Last night, a memo from the Department of Defense leaked outlining a plan to implement the military’s employment ban on transgender people starting April 12th. If implemented, the order could potentially be the largest layoff of transgender people in history. The order effectively bars all but a few current transgender service members from serving openly or accessing medical care, and blocks transgender people from enlisting going forward.

Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center (TLC), the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures, issued the following statement:

 If the military moves forward with implementing this illegal and unconscionable ban, it will devastate the lives of thousands of transgender people and their families who will be put out of work just because of who they are.

Transgender people should not have to fear being fired or barred from even applying for a job because of our gender, yet we already face three times the national unemployment rate. Now this administration is cutting off a key avenue of employment for many transgender people, especially transgender people of color who face devastating discrimination across the board. We deserve the same opportunities and access to gainful employment and a welcoming workplace as anyone else.

In fact, with our 2012 case on behalf of Mia Macy, TLC established that employers cannot refuse to hire transgender people just because of who we are – a precedent that has since been reinforced in case after case. If they enforce this ban, the military will be breaking the law.

The targeted chaos and fear of a leaked memo has become a hallmark of the Trump administration. This latest Trump administration attack on transgender and gender nonconforming people shows yet again that they will stop at nothing to deny our dignity, humanity, and survival. Transgender Law Center will continue fighting back against this administration and fiercely advocating for a future in which all people are valued for who they are.

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Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. transgenderlawcenter.org