A transgender former Army officer took aim at Donald Trump’s ‘archaic’ ban after being honoured by the Duke of Cambridge.
Captain Hannah Graf, 32, who rose to be the highest-ranking transgender woman in the British Army, criticised the old-fashioned ban as being in ‘stark contrast’ to the UK’s attitude.
Her comments came as she was made an MBE by William at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.
After collecting the honour for services to the LGBTQ community in the military, she celebrated the Army’s embrace of transgender people, a process that led to her honour.
She later addressed the US, where the president has banned transgender troops serving in the military.
She said: ‘I think it (the MBE) is particularly important when considering what’s going on in the United States where their commander-in-chief is saying transgender people don’t deserve to serve.
‘It’s a stark contrast and I’m very proud to be in the British Army today and my heart goes out to all those people in the US who don’t get these opportunities.’
She added that the US should ‘absolutely reconsider’ its position.
The Captain from London said: ‘There are hardworking highly-skilled, highly motivated people with deep integrity who are losing their jobs in the US military because of this archaic law.’
In contrast, Capt Graf said William was ‘very supportive’ when discussing her experiences, as well as his own of the transgender community in the RAF.
Capt Graf, originally from Cardiff and who served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, attended the ceremony with her family including her husband Jake, who is also transgender.
They met and married after Capt Graf came out during a tour of Afghanistan and began her transition. She has since left the military.
For anyone with doubts, Captain Graf is clear of the benefits transgender people bring to the armed forces.
She added: ‘Transgender people, just like any people of a diverse background, have a huge amount to give and the armed forces need that diversity and that strength, that difference of thought that people bring to a situation’.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk in February, Ms Graf said she wants to remind everyone that LGBT people are ‘just human beings’.
She said: ‘Transitioning is a funny thing, at the time it seems like the biggest thing in the world, but you see that it really isn’t. My body was changing but my job and my family didn’t.
‘People worry about all sorts of random things, but apart from growing my hair and changing my clothes, the person I was didn’t change.’