Biden Appoints Trailblazing Trans War Veteran To Presidential Transition Team

by : Julia Banim on : 12 Nov 2020 13:15
Joe Biden transJoe Biden transPA/ShawnGSkelly/Twitter

President-elect Joe Biden has appointed trailblazing transgender war veteran Shawn Skelly as a member of his presidential transition team.

Skelly’s responsibilities will include evaluating the Department of Defense, understanding its operations and working towards a smooth transfer of power from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.


President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have previously pledged to put an immediate end to Trump’s discriminatory ban on trans people serving in the military.

As reported by Pink News, Skelly was the very first trans veteran to receive a presidential appointee after President Barack Obama made her director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the Department of Transportation.

Skelly is the co-founder of LGBT+ advocacy organisation Out In National Security (ONS), a group of national security professionals who use their professional networks to bring about greater opportunities ‘for current and future colleagues’. She has also previously worked as a special assistant to the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.


The Trump administration has previously backed legal attempts to ban transgender girls from participating in school sports, whilst encouraging discrimination towards trans people in settings such as healthcare and homeless shelters.

President-elect Biden has made it clear that his new administration will take a much different approach, with his presidential victory speech being the first in US history to acknowledge transgender Americans.

Addressing the nation on November 7, Biden addressed the importance of unity, and spoke proudly of the great diversity to be found within the United States:


Democrats, Republicans, Independents, progressives, moderates, conservatives, young, old, urban, suburban, rural.

Gay, straight, transgender, White, Latino, Asian, Native American.

Especially at those moments when this campaign was at its lowest… the African American community stood up again for me.

Joe BidenJoe BidenMSNBC

Skelly is amongst a number of LGBTQ+ individuals to be appointed to President-elect Biden’s transition team, which a press release describes as ‘the most diverse agency review teams in presidential transition history’:

Of the hundreds of ART members to be announced, more than half are women, and approximately 40 percent represent communities historically underrepresented in the federal government, including people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.

The President-elect and Vice President-elect are committed to building an administration that looks like America.


President Trump has so far refused to work with President-elect Biden’s transition team as he continues to deny the results of the US Presidential Election.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Joe Biden, Now


Pink News
  1. Pink News

    Joe Biden appoints trailblazing transgender war veteran to presidential transition team