transgender

Drew Garza welcomed the Biden White House lifting a ban on transgender recruits. But Garza and other would-be transgender recruits are waiting for the formal requirements and rules for their service.

Updated Feb. 25, 4:39 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also substantially expand the areas to which those discrimination protections apply.

"We're here today, in the midst of one of the most challenging school years in American history," Miguel Cardona said in opening remarks to the Senate education committee on Wednesday. "For far too many of our students, this year has piled on crisis after crisis. As a parent, and as an educator, I have lived those challenges alongside millions of families."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Tuesday that repeals a state anti-loitering law, commonly called the "walking while trans" ban, that critics say police used to harass and arrest law-abiding trans people, in particular.

The new measure effectively takes off the books a 1976 law that sought to prohibit loitering for the purpose of prostitution. Politicians and LGBTQ advocates say the law resulted in decades of discrimination by law enforcement.

President Joe Biden on Monday reversed a Trump-era ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military on Monday.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

President Biden on Monday repealed a controversial Trump-era ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military.

Biden signed an executive order on the issue as he met in the Oval Office with new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Vice President Harris.

Speaking briefly to reporters, Biden said the order will allow all "qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform."

President-elect Joe Biden is nominating Pennsylvania health expert Dr. Rachel Levine to be assistant secretary for health in the department of Health and Human Services, in a move that could make Levine the first openly transgender federal official to win Senate confirmation.

Levine is currently the secretary of health in Pennsylvania, where she leads the state's fight against COVID-19. She is also professor at the Penn State College of Medicine. Levine began her medical career as a pediatrician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Actor Elliot Page, who received an Oscar nomination for his performance in the 2007 film Juno, announced Tuesday that he is transgender.

He posted a public letter on Twitter and Instagram:

"Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived in this place in my life."

In the 2020 general election, voters elected six transgender candidates to state office, a historic turn that will increase the number of trans elected officials in state legislatures from four to seven nationwide.

"For the entire LGBTQ community, but especially for trans people, these victories are incredibly meaningful and indicate a growing level of acceptance that definitely was not there just a few years before," says Elliot Imse, Senior Director of Communications at LGBTQ Victory Fund.

Votes are still being counted to determine results of the presidential election, but the 2020 election saw a number of diversity firsts in down-ballot races across the country. Many candidates from underrepresented backgrounds made history on Tuesday when they were elected to serve at state and local levels.

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