Washington, D.C., April 9, 2019 The American Psychiatric Association ( APA ), the national medical association representing more than 38,500 psychiatric physicians, is concerned about the Department of Defense's ( DoD ) decision to implement a ban of transgender Americans from the U.S. military, effective Friday.
As of Friday, most transgender service members will be required to follow the standards of their biological sex or be removed from service. Previously, DoD policy allowed transgender service members to seek treatment and now DoD intends to discriminate against those who did. As physicians providing treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders, we affirm that being transgender or gender diverse implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or ability to serve in the military. We urge the Administration to eliminate this policy and instead, work with our organization to ensure policy decisions are informed by medical evidence.
"The APA has long fought against discrimination against any patient population," said APA President Altha Stewart, M.D. "This ban perpetuates discrimination and stigma against transgender people. Furthermore, this ban harms the military by depriving the service branches of willing and capable members."
—From an American Psychiatric Association press release
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,500 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA's vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org .