By Anna Gombert
On Friday, March 23, the White House announced a new policy that would ban most transgender people from being able to serve in the United States military.
On July 26, 2017, Trump said in a series of tweets, “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow [t]ransgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” He continued, “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. Thank you.”
The new policy will ban transgender individuals from serving in the military who require surgery or significant medical treatment or who have a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria, except in select cases, states Politico.
The American Psychiatric Association states, “People with gender dysphoria may often experience significant distress and/or problems functioning associated with this conflict between the way they feel and think of themselves (referred to as experienced or expressed gender) and their physical or assigned gender.”
CNN reports that a memo about the policy states that the ban will not apply to individuals who do not require a change of sex have been “stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex” prior to joining the military or started serving under the Obama administration’s policy.
The White House press office issued a statement on Friday which stated that the policy was developed from a study by senior uniformed and civilian leaders, CNN continued.
An earlier blanket ban of all transgender individuals from serving in the military was blocked by federal judges, according to the BBC. Of current active-duty and reserve military personnel, 4000-10000 are believed to be transgender.
“I think it’s completely ridiculous and close-minded to ban anyone from serving in the military based on the fact that they are transgender, and it greatly upsets me that this is the direction our country is going under Trump’s leadership,” stated Anna Walker (‘20). “People that are transgender suffer enough discrimination as is; this ban horrifies me and is just another reminder of how much more we have to fight back against discrimination so that we don’t keep taking steps back and can start moving forward and getting better about acceptance.”
“Trump hates trans people, plain and simple. This Transgender ban is just fear-mongering bullshit. Personally, I do not support our imperialist military and how it manipulates low-income people into joining because it pays well and provides education, and trans people are apart of that low-income group,” said Alissa Glaeser (‘18), a Women and Gender Studies major. “The military provides healthcare that trans people wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. We need to provide more support for trans people and other marginalized people so that their last hope isn’t military or other avenues.”
Photo Courtesy of Randall Enos