Transgender service members fight for acceptance

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer reports on transgender military service members after the Biden administration’s new policy allowing them to serve openly, reversing the Trump administration’s ban.
8:19 | 02/24/21

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Transcript for Transgender service members fight for acceptance
His first week in office president Biden formally lifted his predecessors ban on trans gender people serving in the US Miller church tonight we share from those who continue to serve even as some top military leaders wanted them go watch and we slip questioned one decade after the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell option is military service in this country now finally LGB eighteen Blige cheers Devin Dwyer. Navy petty officer first class Brock stone takes pride in his family and his fight really big about. You're jumping in there and and doing what he's done stones a highly trained cyber analyst at the forefront of evolving threats to national security. I am here today because I want to. Remain a part of my. 12017. He joined an ACLU lawsuit against president trump to allow transgender service members like Kim to keep doing their jobs. Went to Afghanistan. Always saying I mean what does that all mean. That tells me I'm not welcome that tells me that I am not respects she has cell. The Pentagon under Trump's a transgender people could only serve at the effectively suppress their identity. Assuming the gender role of their assigned sex at birth. We came an endangered species. They weren't going to be any more of us know when you could come out no one you could get Ian those that stayed describe a psychological told. Biggest risks. Is that weird. Something out there and an ordinary sailor. Who is just charity do a job. Late last month president Joseph Biden ended the trump policy starting a new era of open service in the US military. But now trans service members and their allies how wondering how quickly tolerance will take hold in the ranks and whether the policy of inclusion will be permanent. I'm not worried about being able to be gone it's a question about it senior generation prom can. Can start to embrace this evening and standard way. I think it'll move along. Retired general James Cartwright former vice chairman of the joint chiefs says there are lessons to be learned in the decade since gays and lesbians began serving openly that you are being. Ask a live a lie. And downed wires. That forced a ticking time bombs that brought us to where we were when we came to repeal. In 20102011. Car right helped lead the ground work for repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Over concerns from some of his peers. When assimilating openly homosexual Marines into the tightly woven fabric of our combat units. Has strong potential for disruption had two small unit level in your view was always any of that board now the studies were. All. All conclusion that one there was no operational impact contract it was just the opposite now just say that there weren't issues. You know incidents not that would be wrong or were in a wheelchair but just stated had operational impact. It turned out to not a case it was a nonissue there. You can either how the career that you committed her life to. Or you can be honest and you could not have. Retired army lieutenant colonel Todd Brazil who is gay says the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell vindicated military values of honesty and integrity. In May 2010 from a base in Afghanistan Brazil penned a riveting anonymous essay that went viral and helped change minds. I want to tell the guys I ate lunch with every day about my partner he wrote at the time I've become so good at this lying game each set my soul. I was a little horrified Hardaway and let me get real for people. I'm told. Seven months later they. The that base. My seven seniors under Don't Ask Don't Tell fuel held a lot lighter. But knowing that the we have generations now Goteborg that it that it won't impact. The success of that transition cleared the way for President Obama and twenty sixteenths to allow openly transgender troops are for the first time. Your country needs you or your country wants you. An estimated 141700. Trans service members were an active duty or the reserves before trump took office. The majority were transgender women less than a quarter transgender men. They've served in all military branches in war zones for years and soon lieutenant colonel brief -- will bring her expertise to the new US space force. We're in the Pentagon I work for a new boss and I won't admit I was trans Wyatt was in Arden. And I know later you retire and most or he didn't mean to his office and he said you know what I'm. You broke my stereo. John I mean to work and getting big jar done it every day you smashed my Asian. Who what transgender person Beers. Fram is the highest ranking openly transgender officer in the Department of Defense it helps lead a growing network of trans active service members called Sparta. I don't think I can point to is they I've held command positions several others have as well. And the challenge there is not just about me but about. Bringing people along and being able to do this from the past. Sailor who's doing her best to be excellent to sailors and into all things she answers do. Fact that I'm chance at least instinct thing about if you're worried about grasp Irene violence it may always be. You know something in the act or my mind. And certainly you know inmate. In their junior ranks and people are still developing that network and don't necessarily have that. Same mobile support structure they may be more concerned about it. Groundbreaking new research commissioned by the Defense Department finds LG BT troops face an elevated risk of harassment and abuse. Over 80% of RG BT service members have experienced sexual harassment. Compared to about 50% of non LG BT service members is a really important first stop is just trying to understand the lived experience is an LG BT service members of that we can shape. Services and programs and resources around what they need. Eighteen countries including allies Israel Canada in the UK have allowed transgender service for years and could be models for America. Those case studies back copy independent research in the US was found allowing transgender troops has minimal impact on readiness and health care costs. I do think that. Though more time that passes. Winds a group of people being visible and demonstrating today. Our first class citizens proud and just like their ears just like everyone else harder it is to put the toothpaste back in the tube and reversed those gains. Today 66%. Of active duty soldiers sailors airmen and Marines say they are comparable serving with transgender pierce. The issue of open transgender service saddle. I'd like to believe that after forty years of this administration. The concept of military service without transgender people were being just is unconscionable as it is without. African Americans with how women without lesbians gays and bisexuals. But we're not quite there yet we're still in a place where a new administration. Could flip the switch and return. To us being banned from service. For at least the next four years that switch is on acceptance allowing transgender troops a chance to be their best selves. And show how they help make the country stronger and safer in the process. In the community at large and certainly are my results com. It has been released are still here aren't going anywhere. For as people aren't going ordered his who have been around for centuries. For ABC news live I'm Devin Dwyer in Washington. Our thanks to DeVon for that rob court.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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