We’re Asking and Telling: Trump’s Trans Ban Stops Progress

Trump’s Press Secretary indicated implementation of the transgender ban would have to be “done lawfully.” But no one seems to want to elaborate further.

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September 20, 2011: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is officially repealed, thanks to legislation passed earlier that July by President Obama. Openly LGBT citizens are permitted to serve our country, without having to hide who they are. An act that encouraged people hiding who they are for 17 years was finally put to bed.

June 30, 2016: Then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter officially ends the ban on transgender people joining the military.

And just over a year later…

July 26, 2017: President Trump announces that transgender citizens will no longer be allowed to serve in the United States Military. Because the “T” in “LGBT” is suddenly silent, or something.

Of course, he made the announcement via Twitter, where he has made a multitude of other announcements and taken several shots at so many others, even respected government officials

And Trump’s newly-appointed communications rep Anthony Scaramucci may have to rethink some of his previous statements.

While it was announced later that the U.S. Military would hold off on the ban for the time being, the fact remains that a) it still could come to pass and b) it was thought about in the first place… by our President. There are a number of questions to be answered surrounding this entire event, and what it represents.

What’s his reason this time?
Trump and his advisors indicate that they have conducted research which states the healthcare costs of having transgender citizens in the military are just too high, and would affect the readiness of the military as a whole. According to a 2016 report by the Rand Corporation, the impact would be “minimal,” as there are so few transgender people in the military to begin with.

Is this even legal?
Trump’s Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated that implementation of the ban would have to be “done lawfully.” But no one seems to want to elaborate further on what “lawfully” is in this case. And what’s more, it sounds a lot like discrimination which is, in fact, illegal — which anyone who has read a workplace discrimination policy would know, let alone the military.

What about Trump’s promise to all LGBT citizens that he made on his campaign?
Apparently, they were “tied to war on radical Islam.” Trump claimed that he could fight and eradicate global terrorism completely, and in turn, protect LGBT citizens from a more global threat. What happens in their own country, by fellow Americans, were just details… or, campaign promises made in an attempt to earn the vote of the LGBT population.

So, what does all this mean for us?
We have truly come a long way as a country, but there’s also a long way to go in order to reach the level of progress that so many of us millennials strive for and fight for every single day. We must continue to encourage Pride celebrations as well as the overall culture that promotes being who you are in spite of what others may think or believe… even when our President falls into that category.

How can we help?
It’s important to remember that anyone who voluntarily wants to serve our country, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion or sexual identity, should be rewarded and commended for his or her efforts and selflessness. These are people who protect our freedoms by risking their lives to do so. Who is anyone to deny them of their freedoms to be who they are? We can help by continuing to raise our voices in support — whether on a large scale by peaceful protest, or a smaller scale just by having a conversation with someone who is in favor of the ban, and reminding them just how great and powerful a sacrifice these citizens are making.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

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