A local veteran celebrated a legal victory over a ban he described as a slap in the face.
Giovonni Santiago served 3.5 years in the Air Force.
“At that time, I was a minority female when I was in the military, so that kind of put a different experience in life,” said Santiago. “Dealing with men who thought I was beneath them because I was a minority and I was a female. You just have to kind of reach a point where you’re not living to serve someone else.”
Santiago said he transitioned, medically, four years ago.
He is among thousands who volunteered life, while at some point living their own life in secrecy.
Just months ago, President Trump's tweets condemned transgender troops. However, the judge ruled that transgender service members who sued over the policy would likely win, and ordered things go back to the way they were.
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"I don't place a lot of stock in anything he says or does," said Santiago about President Trump.
His experience serves youth who are at a turning point.
"I see that will to want to be someone else, but not the capacity of things," said Santiago.
The judge also temporarily stopped the president's move to block recruiting openly transgender people for the military.