Barring transgender people from the military is unpatriotic

Megan Brown, Staff Writer

One step forward, two steps back seems to be the trend here with President Trump leading the highest court in the land. On Tuesday, January 22 the Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that the Trump administration could restore its policy banning transgender people from serving in the military.

Now, to me, and I think I speak for most patriotic people in this country, it doesn’t quite fit our nation’s military memo to have to “fight to fight.”

President Trump announced this ban in July 2017 on Twitter. This post came as a surprise to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Trump’s own Defense Secretary. He wrote, “[Our military] cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Trump is setting up two points here. One is financial, but of course he seems to have no problem raising money given the fact that there is almost $20 million raised for the border wall.

Secondly, he says the word “disruption.” Now, this word holds some ambiguity, but I’ll try to pull out as much inferred meaning as possible.

In 2014, a report from the Palm Center explained that the ban, along with ulterior forms of discrimination against trans people, was invalid and medically outdated. The issue was that one’s gender dysphoria may interfere with his or her ability to serve, since it can lead to cases of anxiety and depression.

President Trump’s defense for his words in his initial tweet are largely based on this report, and many have researched and found substantial evidence to invalidate his claims. Mental illness all in all is a faulty reason for why transgender people should not join the military. Anxiety and depression is not specific to those in the LGBTQ community. According to RAND Corporation, “Trans people would make up a small part of the military — and few would seek out gender-affirming care.” Additionally, as stated by RAND, “trans troops make up around 2,450 of the 1.3 million active-component service members — a fraction of a percent of the U.S. military. As a result, trans service members would have little to no effect on military readiness.”

If you want to look at this from a biological standpoint, and talking about strictly male to female or female to male, there is literally no difference in capabilities to physically fight. Men are allowed and women are allowed. What’s the difference?

My cousin just transitioned from male to female. Her name is Maya. If Maya wanted to serve, even if she held more supreme physical and mental strength and prowess than another candidate, she would not be picked. Maya would not be chosen even if she was more physically and mentally fit than someone else, just because she doesn’t identify as a man.

By implementing the ban, the Supreme Court validated President Trump’s transphobia. This also ignited the Trump Administration to reverse other legal protections for this community.

James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, pointed out, “[Trump] campaigned saying that he would be a good friend to LGBT people… Actions speak far louder than words. And what he’s done has been a wreck.”

Across the LGBTQ board, Trump is seen as a dishonest man — one that goes against his words on the campaign trail. This supremacist shift reigns a serious threat to the rights of millions of Americans that identify within this community — including those willing to sacrifice their lives to serve our great nation.

This policy is nothing short of a tragedy. The LGBTQ community has made waves of progress in recent years, but policies like this call into question just how far we, as a nation, have actually come. Hopefully this prejudice policy does not survive long.