Release
Immediate Release

DOD Recognizes International Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31, 2021

Today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III signed a memorandum recognizing transgender and gender non-conforming persons and their continued struggle for a life of equality, security, and dignity during International Transgender Day of Visibility.

It is the policy of the Department of Defense (DOD) to pursue an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and DOD will lead by example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world. As such, Secretary Austin signed a memorandum on March 12, 2021 directing the Department to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world, including in our engagements with partner nations and multilateral organizations, and within our foreign assistance programming.

In the memorandum, Secretary Austin announced the Department has updated its policies governing the open service of transgender individuals in the military.

The International Transgender Day of Visibility memo can be found here.

The Promoting and Protecting the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons Around the World memo can be found here.