Trump’s decision on transgender service members
July 26, 2017
As of July 19, President Trump has tweeted 991 times since taking office, according to CNN. But on the morning of July 26, @realDonaldTrump sent out a tweet that completely reversed a progressive decision President Barack Obama made in 2016.
Trump stated that the government will no longer “accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.” In June of 2016, the Obama administration announced that transgender people could not be discharged from the military just for being transgender. The government also promised to pay for gender transitions for people in the military.
According to The New York Times, some of Trump’s defense officials were surprised at the tweet, saying they had been “studying how transgender troops affect other service members, but not with a view toward removing transgender people from the military.” Lots of advocacy groups and nonprofit organizations, including OutServe-SLDN, an organization geared towards helping LGBT service members and veterans, shared their views about the decision.
OutServe-SLDN said they would stand against Trump in federal court in order to protect the rights of transgender troops. On the other hand, lots of conservatives applauded Trump’s move, especially since it is set to cut government spending.
While it is unclear what this decision means for active duty military members who are transgender, there is sure to be even more controversy in the days to come.
Make the military great again
Knowing that President Trump has tweeted, “I am least racist person there is,” and 234 of his tweets contain the very professional, very presidential word “loser,” I can’t say I’m surprised by his three tweets explaining that transgender individuals can no longer serve in the U.S. military. You might think it’s fake news, but not today. It came straight from the most reliable source there is: @realDonaldTrump on Twitter.
If I have to hear such an important announcement coming from the President, I’d much rather him have the guts to speak his delusional mind out of his mouth in person and not through his Twitter account. For someone who appealed to the Armed Forces and veterans during his campaign and presidency thus far, claiming to be the one to “solve [terrorism] and fast,” it shocks me that he would bar anyone with the same goal in mind. Especially after tweeting that he would fight for the LGBT community during his 2016 campaign.
According to Time and Bloomberg, there are 2,450 transgender people in active duty and 1,510 transgender people in reserves. That’s 3,960 people who want to serve the U.S. People who would lay down their lives to give a better one to their fellow citizens. People who don’t deserve to be singled out as a disruption to military success with their “tremendous medical costs” they would place on the government. Though the 2016 RANDS study from RAND, a nonprofit institution made to aid in policy making, said that “only between 29-129 serving in active duty would seek out medical treatment for gender transitions.” Out of the 1.2 million active military service members, I think we can help less than .01 percent of them out. If President Trump can spend $314 million on dropping the MOAB (mother of all bombs) on Afghanistan, he can spare some money on transgender service members eager to aid military pursuits.
As we’ve heard since the beginning of President Trump’s campaign, he wants to MAGA (Make America Great Again). But as I see it, the military could use some of that greatness now, too.