Transgender people, both serving members of the armed forces and veterans, have responded to Trump banning them from serving in ‘any capacity’.
He has blamed the ‘medical costs and disruption’ they would cause to the armed forces.
Making the announcement on Twitter, he said:
‘Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.’
Around 12,000 transgender individuals currently serve in the US military. In addition, approximately 134,400 trans adults are military veterans or retirees. Thus, approximately 150,000 trans adults have served in the US Armed Forces or are currently on active duty.
The US Military is the largest employer of trans individuals in the country.
Chelsea Manning called out Trump’s cowardice, while Kristen Beck – first Navy Seal to come out as trans – challenged the US president to meet her.
MEET ME & tell me I’m not WORTHY to my face. pic.twitter.com/eqAHTysfma
— Chief Beck (@valor4us) July 26, 2017
‘I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military,’ Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland, an airman, told Air Force Times. ‘You are not going to deny me my right to serve my country when I am fully qualified and able and willing to give my life.’
The star of the documentary Transgender, At War and in Love, alongside his trans wife Cpl. Laila Villanueva, he said the policy change was a surprise.
‘For the president to deny an able-bodied, fully qualified person the inherent right to raise their right hand and serve their country, potentially giving their own life for our freedoms, is doing this country an injustice,’ Ireland said.
Other veterans also spoke out on Twitter.
I served 8 years in the Marine Corps and Navy on three combat tours. Just Cause, Desert Storm, Desert Shield. I am Transgender and proud.
— Rachel Lauren Clark (@Nerdy_Girl) July 26, 2017
As USAF vet & TransMan, Trump’s reversal of Obama policy allowing Transgender to serve their country is abhorrent & bigoted. I’m disgusted!
— D E V I N (@DevinMillington) July 26, 2017
I am a transgender veteran who has served honorably. He claimed bone spurs to avoid having to serve in the military. He is a disgrace.
— Perry Bain (@Stagehog81) July 26, 2017
Trump can suck the Iraqi sand off my transgender veteran cock.
— Small Town Squirrel (@eternalkerri) July 26, 2017
— Carla Lewis (@manicsquirrel) July 26, 2017