ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – For transgender people who want to serve in the military, the law itself is in transition. The future careers of thousands of service members are still in limbo after a federal judge temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s effort to ban transgender people from serving in the military.
New Mexico Navy veteran and transwoman Penn Baker is disappointed that there is still a fight over who can and can't serve their country.
Baker is the president of the New Mexico chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights. After leaving the Navy in 1970, Baker never stopped fighting for her peers who for years had to hide their true selves if they wanted to openly enlist.
"We fought desperately to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell,'" Baker said. "We've been successful with that, and now we're fighting desperately to fight transgender personnel to serve openly."
"Why would we disgrace those people if they're willing to serve our country?" Baker said.