The first openly transgender person has signed up to join the U.S. military since federal courts ruled against President Donald Trump’s ban of trans military personnel last year, CNN reported on Monday.  

“The Department of Defense confirms that as of Feb. 23, 2018, there is one transgender individual under contract for service in the U.S. military,” Pentagon spokesman Maj. David Eastburn told CNN. The recruit has signed a contract but, according to ABC, the recruit won’t begin basic training for another few months. 

The news comes as Trump is still reportedly debating how the Department of Defense will handle the military service of transgender people.  

In July 2017, Trump announced that transgender recruits would no longer be allowed to serve in the military. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming ... victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” Trump tweeted. 

The announcement was a shocking reversal of an Obama-era policy that allowed openly transgender people to serve in the military. Trump’s declaration had the potential to affect thousands of transgender troops already serving and came as a surprise to many. It triggered outrage around the country, with many questioning if the ban was legal. The announcement also surprised Defense Secretary James Mattis who was on vacation at the time

Trump issued a memorandum in August detailing his policy change, which was set to take effect by March 23, 2018. The Pentagon was forced to allow openly transgender troops to sign up on Jan. 1 after several federal courts ruled against Trump’s ban

Mattis, who had been instructed to come up with an implementation plan for Trump’s decision, presented his recommendations on transgender recruits to Trump last week. 

“The Secretary of Defense made his recommendation to the White House this morning,” Eastburn told HuffPost on Friday. “The recommendation was a private conversation between the secretary and the White House, and the contents of the conversation will remain private.”

Reports last week suggested Mattis would recommend that Trump allow transgender troops to continue to serve.

A 2016 Rand Corp. study estimated that there are as many as 10,000 transgender troops currently in the military. 

Mack Beggs has captured his second straight state wrestling title.

And once again his state gold medal ceremony included a mix of cheers and jeers from the crowd.

On Saturday at the Berry Center in Cypress, Texas, the transgender male wrestler capped a perfect 36-0 season by claiming his second straight UIL girls Class 6A state title in the 110-pound weight class by decision, 15-3, against Chelsea Sanchez of Katy Morton Ranch High School.

Last season, Beggs also defeated Sanchez, 12-1, in the girls Class 6A championship last year. As a junior. He finished with a perfect 56-0 record.

When he won that title roughly a year ago, his victory was greeted with a smattering of boos, but those were quickly drowned out by cheers. Ones which grew louder when Trinity coach Travis Clark put the gold medal around Beggs’ neck.

A few years ago, Beggs began his transition from female to male. To help with the process, Beggs underwent low-level shots of testosterone. According to the UIL, since the testosterone comes from a physician, it is not considered a banned substance.

Beggs has previously stated he’d prefer to compete in the boys division, but UIL rules mandate participants must compete against the gender that appears on their birth certificate.

Still, Coppell lawyer Jim Baudhuin filed a lawsuit against the UIL, which was eventually dismissed by a Travis County Judge.

Before falling to Beggs in the semifinals, Cypress Ranch High School's Kayla Fits, actuallytold the Dallas Morning News that she was going to take his title.

Beggs dominated the girls Class 6A Region II tournament last weekend at Allen High School.At that tournament, near-dozen opposing wrestlers, coaches, fans or parents refused to share any opinions about Beggs.Once he'd claimed the regional title, the defending state champion discussed his potential plans wrestle at the collegiate level in the men's division.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has made his recommendations to the White House on transgender individuals serving in the military, the Pentagon said on Friday, after President Donald Trump’s call last year for a ban on such service

Major David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said the recommendations had been made earlier on Friday and the White House would make any policy decisions.

The Pentagon did not give details on the recommendations, but the top U.S. general has said transgender troops should not be removed from the military.

Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, last year said that he has urged the Trump administration not to kick transgender service members out of the military.

In September, the Pentagon said it had created a panel of senior officials to study how to implement a directive by Trump to prohibit transgender individuals from serving.

In a move that appealed to his hard-line conservative supporters, Trump announced in July that he would prohibit transgender people from serving in the military, reversing former President Barack Obama’s policy of accepting them. Trump said on Twitter at the time that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

As a presidential candidate, Trump vowed to fight for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. His tweet drew condemnation from rights groups and some lawmakers in both parties as politically motivated discrimination.

Critics of Trump’s ban pointed to a Rand Corporation study that estimated annual transgender healthcare accounted for only $2.4 million to $8.4 million of the more than $50 billion in Defense Department healthcare spending.

But it was also praised by conservative activists and some of his fellow Republicans.

A number of federal judges - in Baltimore, Washington, Seattle and Riverside, California - issued rulings blocking Trump’s ban. The judges said the ban would likely violate the right under the U.S. Constitution to equal protection under the law.

Late last year transgender people were allowed for the first time to enlist in the U.S. military, after the Trump administration decided not to appeal rulings that blocked his transgender ban.

Military officials do not know how many transgender people have begun to enlist since Jan. 1, when the Defense Department began accepting openly transgender recruits. But advocates said they believe dozens, if not hundreds, of transgender people will seek to join an estimated 4,000 already serving.

 

Today, a group was calling for action over Celine Walker, a transgender woman murdered earlier this month. Dozens came together outside the Capitol Sunday in support of 36-year old Celine Walker. 

Walker was shot in a Jacksonville hotel room on February 4th. Her friends say they know it was a hate crime.The national center for transgender equality states, she is the fourth known transgender homicide victim reported in the U.S. this year.

Dr. Petra Doan, an FSU Professor, says,"Trans people are not just murdered randomly, we're murdered 99 times out of 100 because someone figured out that we were trans and was upset about it."

 When the Jacksonville Sheriffs office reported the incident, they got Walker's name and gender wrong. She was listed with her birth name and gender, a way she chose not to identify herself. A week passed before walker's friends even knew what happened.

The Tallahassee transgender community says, Walker is one of many hate crime victims. Not only is the group mourning at Sunday's vigil, they're also fighting for change. Currently, Florida's hate crime reporting act doesn't include gender identity and physical disability. Walker was not recognized as transgender in her death report and the Tallahassee transgender community wants to change that.

Lakey Love, Equality Florida Transaction Training Coordinator, says, "We want to support the disability rights act. People have put together a legislation to include gender and gender identity and physical disabilities in the state hate crimes reporting act. " National statistics document at least 28 hate crime-related deaths toward transgender people nationwide in 2017, making it the highest on record. The group attending Walker's vigil wants to protect the transgender community from future hate crimes with the new bill.

 

A Hamilton County, Ohio, judge on Friday gave custody of a transgender teen to his grandparents rather than his parents, allowing them to make medical decisions regarding his transition.

The parents didn't want the teen, a 17-year-old who identifies as male, to undergo hormone treatment and refused to call him by his chosen name, triggering suicidal feelings, according to court testimony. The parents wanted custody in order to make medical decisions for the teen and prohibit thetreatment that his medical team had recommended.
Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon had instructed that the family's names not be released.
 
Hendon's ruling says that in addition to receiving custody, the grandparents can petition to change the child's name in probate court. The teen will now be covered by the grandparents' insurance.
 
The grandparents, rather than parents, will be the ones to help make medical decisions for the child going forward. But before any hormone treatment is allowed, the court ordered, the teen should be evaluated by a psychologist who is not affiliated with the current facility where he is receiving treatment, on "the issue of consistency in the child's gender presentation, and feelings of non-conformity."
 
A team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where the teen has been treated since 2016, advised the court that he should start treatment as soon as possible to decrease his suicide risk.
 
The parents' attorney had argued that the child was not "even close to being able to make such a life-altering decision at this time." A county prosecuting attorney argued that the parents wanted to stop the treatment because it violated their religious beliefs.
 
In the custody decision, Hendon said the parents will have visitation rights and are "encouraged to work toward a reintegration of the child into the extended family."
She also encouraged Ohio lawmakers to create legislation giving judges a framework in which they can evaluate a patient's right to gender therapy.
 
"What is clear from the testimony presented in this case and the increasing worldwide interest in transgender care is that there is certainly a reasonable expectation that circumstances similar to the one at bar are likely to repeat themselves," she wrote. "That type of legislation would give a voice and a pathway to youth similarly situated as (the teen) without attributing fault to the parents and involving them in protracted litigation which can and does destroy a family unit."
 

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