Navy grants waiver allowing transgender sailor to serve under their preferred gender

CNN reports the US Navy has granted a waiver allowing a transgender service member to serve “in their preferred gender” for the first time since the military enacted a transgender ban.

“The acting Secretary of the Navy has approved a specific request for exemption related to military service by transgender persons and persons with gender dysphoria,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Brittany Stephens told CNN.

Stephens added that “this service member requested a waiver to serve in their preferred gender, to include obtaining a gender marker change in (the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) and being allowed to adhere to standards associated with their preferred gender, such as uniforms and grooming.”

The GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights said Friday that the waiver was granted to their client, a Naval officer who filed a lawsuit in March against the ban.

The anonymous Naval officer had served two extended tours of duty over nine years and was facing involuntary discharge because she’s transgender, according to the complaint.
“While we are relieved that our client, a highly qualified Naval officer, will be able to continue her service, there are other equally qualified transgender service members who have sought waivers and are still in limbo, despite being perfectly fit to serve,” said Jennifer Levi, the director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project, in a statement Friday.