Nic Talbott has dreamt of a career in the military for years.
He enrolled in a training programme while at university and spent his weekends in camouflage crawling through mud, or strategising in mock battle scenarios.
But a tweet by Donald Trump in July 2017 destroyed all of his plans.
The president’s tweet declared: “The United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military.”
Mr Talbott said: “It was like my entire future had just been taken away in one moment over social media for no good reason.”
The 27-year-old has been living as a man since he was a teenager. He wasn’t treated any differently by his peers or the instructors who trained him. But his president decided he should not be allowed to serve his country because he is transgender.
“This ban treats transgender people as lesser people,” he said.
“This ban implies that we are not as worthy, we are not as capable, and none of that is true at all.”
It is unclear how many people have been affected by President Trump’s policy. Figures from 2016 show there were between 2,150 and 10,790 transgender individuals in active service or in the reserves, according to the think-tank the Rand Corporation.
Mr Talbott had to drop out of his officer training course and he decided to fight the president in court.
After two years of legal limbo, the Supreme Court allowed Mr Trump’s policy to come into force.
Mr Talbott became a substitute teacher at his old high school, his dreams of a military career shattered. Then the coronavirus pandemic closed the schools. Read from source….