Wales

Transgender ex-Army officer awarded MBE by Prince William

Transgender former Army officer is made an MBE Image copyright David Mirzoeff/PA Wire
Image caption Capt Hannah Graf rose to be the highest-ranking transgender woman in the British army

A transgender former Army officer has been made an MBE by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.

Capt Hannah Graf, from Cardiff, rose to become the highest ranking transgender woman in the British army.

After collecting the honour for services to the LGBTQ community in the military, she celebrated the Army's embrace of transgender people.

Capt Graf called US President Donald Trump's move to ban certain transgender people from the military "archaic".

The 32-year-old, who lives in London and served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, attended the ceremony with her family including her husband Jake, who is also transgender.

Capt Graf 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.

"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 Prince William was "very supportive" when discussing her experiences, as well as his own of the transgender community from his time in the RAF.

"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," she added.

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