TRANSGENDER SERVICE MEMBERS RESPOND TO TRUMP’S BAN
No one knows for sure how many transgender people have served in America’s armed forces, or are currently in uniform. But on July 26, President Donald Trump made it clear that he does not believe they should be allowed to serve “in any capacity.”
In a series of tweets, Trump argued that medical costs for transition-related care are too burdensome, and that having transgender people in the military causes “disruption.” The move seemingly reinstated a ban on open service that former President Barack Obama decided to lift last year, ending decades of what some describe as “serving in silence.” (The Pentagon says it is delaying action until it receives further guidance from the White House.)
Politicians, advocacy groups and LGBTQ individuals decried President Trump’s announcement. Meanwhile, transgender troops currently serving are struggling to understand what the President’s decision will mean for them in the immediate future. Among those who felt most blindsided by the reversal were transgender veterans, who by some estimates number more than 130,000 in the U.S.
Here, nine transgender troops and veterans respond to President Trump’s announcement.