Lieutenant Colonel Bree Fram, 41, has served in the US Air Force since 2003 (Picture: Bree Fram/metro.co.uk)
A transgender woman serving in the US Air Force says she no longer feels like an ‘endangered species’ after new president Joe Biden scrapped a ban on trans people serving in the military.
Lieutenant Colonel Bree Fram, 41, said it was a ‘euphoric day’ for human rights on Monday as Biden reversed Trump’s draconian Transgender Military Ban.
She said she has spent the last four years feeling like a ‘second class citizen’ in her job, knowing that the government ‘doesn’t value’ her the same as her cisgender counterparts.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Bree, from Newport, Rhode Island, has shared her relief at finally being able to ‘serve authentically’ as a transgender woman following the ban’s termination. She said she also expects thousands of transgender men and women to enlist in the US military over the next few months after being handed the ‘gift of equality’.
Bree said: ‘It’s was a euphoric day, we’ve all been given an amazing gift. This is an opportunity for so many to be able to serve authentically.
‘We have fought for this for four years, all we have been asking for is equal opportunities.
Bree pictured before completing her gender transition in 2020 (Picture: Bree Fram/metro.co.uk)
Bree is married to Peg and the couple have two children (Picture: Bree Fram/metro.co.uk)
‘There are a lot of people like me who are able and can be a great asset to the armed forces. Thousands of trans people had their dreams put on hold by Donald Trump and now they can finally realize their dreams.
‘For many years we felt like second-class citizens and a lot of people felt very unwanted. It comes down to basic equality and it’s fantastic to be in the position we’re in now.
‘I no longer feel like I’m part of an endangered species and I know a lot of people who can not wait for their moment to enlist. We will see a boom in trans people joining the army and I am watching with joy.’
Bree, who is married to wife, Peg, and has two children aged 8 and 12, joined the US Air Force in 2003 motivated by the events of 9/11. She has served in Iraq on separate occasions and is currently serving as an astronautical engineer.
Bree said she kept her ongoing transition to a transgender woman a secret from her colleagues until 2016, when President Barack Obama lifted a longstanding ban on openly transgender people serving in the US military. She said her colleagues showered her with support when she came out and even threw her a party.
Bree is an astronautical engineer with the US Air Force (Picture: Bree Fram/metro.co.uk)
But in July 2017 then-President Trump abruptly reimposed the ban through an announcement on Twitter. For a year, legal battles kept the ban from being imposed but in 2019 the Supreme Court allowed it to go ahead.
The policy prevented transgender people who plan to pursue gender-affirming hormones or surgery from enlisting, and blocked people who had not yet received a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria from accessing such treatment.
‘It forced my hand for me to get my diagnosis and without that, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my transition’, said Bree.
‘The biggest challenge when the ban was announced was that we felt like a burden on the military. I felt like we had to prove ourselves, prove our worth and our value to the military.
‘In some ways Trump did us a favor, because he shone a spotlight on our service so we could show how important we are. Our peers valued us for what we brought to the table and showed me nothing but support.
‘It was difficult to deal with the feeling on being unwanted. Being trans in not inherently negative.
US President Joe Biden has signed a number of executive orders since his inauguration last week (Picture: Reuters)
Bree came out as transgender in 2016 (Picture: Bree Fram/metro.co.uk)
‘I have never felt like I am out of place, I saw it as my chance to make positive change. I never felt like giving up but it did add stress to know I had to prove myself.’
For the first time in three-and-a-half years transgender men and women will this week be able to enlist to the Navy, Army or Air Force if they wish too. Biden’s historic executive order will mean ‘all Americans who are qualified to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States should be able to serve’, the White House said.
The move will allow thousands of transgender individuals to follow their dreams of a career in the US military, with the White House adding that ‘President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service.’
Bree added that she hopes Biden’s actions end a ‘roller coaster of emotions’ for the trans community in America in recent years.
Bree Fram pictured with her wife, Peg and two children (Picture: Bree Fram/metro.co.uk)
She said: ‘It’s a moment of relief and celebration for us all. It’s about the US being a better society.
‘The enthusiasm from trans people to sign up is palpable.
‘It’s a great feeling, switching from Trump who said we were a burden to switching to Biden who says we are welcome and valued.’
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