10:30 AM PDT, May 28, 2021
Preston Lee, a trans Army veteran, was invited to meet President Joe Biden after sending a letter of thanks to his office.
Lee shared within his letter that he had enjoyed his time in the military, but the previous administration’s 2018 ban on trans individuals joining the military — shared via Twitter — left him feeling “erased.”
In January of 2021, shortly after entering the presidency, Biden lifted the discriminatory ban with a briefing that stated, “All Americans who are qualified to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States (‘Armed Forces’) should be able to.”
The statement goes on to refute the claims of health care costs for trans members being too high, and also states that trans inclusion adds more diversity to the military.
Lee wrote a letter to the president sharing that this most recent election was the first he had participated in, and because Biden’s administration was so moved by the heartfelt letter, it left the vet a voicemail requesting an in-person meeting.
Lee and his spouse met with the president and Vice President Kamala Harris backstage after an event on Emory University’s campus in Atlanta. The couple had an opportunity to chat with the president and his VP, and take photos that they can cherish for the future.
The couple acknowledged the vast difference between the past and present presidential actions, as Lee’s spouse later shared on Instagram, “I’ve been having a hard time (as I’m sure many of us are) and this was such an uplifting moment to directly see their value of transgender humans in person.”