SEATTLE -- Friday, a new policy goes into effect in the military limiting how transgender people can serve.
The policy states if a doctor has not diagnosed you as transgender by April 12, you must serve as your birth gender.
It is estimated about 15,000 transgender people serve on active duty or reserves in the US Military.
For five years, Nicole Perry was one of those people.
“If you’re going to take away the trans people from serving, ok, are you going to take their place?” said Perry.
Perry says one of the reasons she did not re-enlist is because during the time of her service you could not be openly transgender.
She says now many people may have to leave the military for the same reason.
“It very much is a ban. It’s discriminating against people because they’re transgender, that makes no sense,” she said.
Perry says transgender members of the military now have a very difficult decision to make: give up their lively hood, or live a lie.
“You’re trying to figure yourself out, and once you do figure yourself out you’re told that’s not you,” she said.
Most transgender persons are now disqualified from military service except:
- Service members who have been stable for three years in their biological sex prior to joining the military -- meaning 36 months after completion of surgery and hormone treatments.
- Service members diagnosed with "gender dysphoria" after joining the military can stay in the military if they don't require a change of gender and remain deployable. Gender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person's physical or assigned gender and the gender with which the person identifies, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
- Service members who were diagnosed with "gender dysphoria" before the effective date of the policy can still serve and receive medical treatment.
- Transgender persons without a gender dysphoria diagnosis or history can serve in their birth sex.
Saturday, the Minority Veterans of America are holding a rally at Westlake Park in Seattle against this new policy.