On the 26th of July, Donald Trump tweeted his new policy of banning transgender military members from serving the United States. Under this new administration, citizens frequently get serious news tweeted at them. However, some people questioned if the policy was serious as the military wasn’t consulted prior to Trump’s tweet and there was no apparent strategy for how to implement the ban. Just yesterday, unfortunately, the White House released more details on this ban, suggesting its implementation in the near future.
“Transgender individuals assigned female at birth are nearly three times more likely than all adult women, and those assigned male at birth are 1.6 times more likely than all adult men, to serve.”- The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law
Although transgender soldiers constitute a small percentage of all military members, they are more likely to serve than all adult men.
According to approximations by the UCLA School of Law, there are 8,800 active transgender military members as of 2014 and 150,000 retired veterans. Donald Trump’s disgraceful policy was disguised under the poor excuse of a ‘financial burden’ (1% of the Pentagon budget would go to transgender soldiers surgery) when the real reason is Trump’s hate and anti-LGBT stance. Trump has passed previous anti-LGBT policies before, such as the “Religious Liberty” bill that enabled many businesses to continue to discriminate against LGBT employees.
On August 23rd, the Wall Street Journal reported the White House’s memo to the Pentagon, which outlined the future of the ban and how it will come into action. The memo was not released to the public, but according to the WSJ, the Pentagon has six months for the ban to be instated. Additionally, the Pentagon must stop paying for medical treatments of all transgender military members as soon as possible. There were many unanswered questions, such as are current military soldiers supposed to be banned or will they remain in the military. The memo did mention their focus is on not recruiting transgender people.
MTV, in possible protest against the policy, invited transgender military members to the VMAs. It is important for everyone to recognize the strength of transgender people and acknowledge the transgender military soldiers who are facing discrimination under Trump’s administration. The whole policy is outrageous. Cisgender and transgender recruits are equally deployable and should both have an equal and fair chance in serving in the military.
Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr