A few short weeks ago (which feels like an eternity), Trump dusted off his bullhorn to repeat his disdain for anyone who doesn’t look exactly like him, this time setting his sights on our LGBT community. At the time, Trump’s transgender military ban consisted of a couple hundred characters sequenced without proper grammar or punctuation. The one thing these characters did have was hate.
Mind-numbing, crushing hate directed at real American heroes actually making the sacrifice that Trump and his kin have so creatively “dodged”. But Americans, for reasons both profound and pathetic, have chosen hate, so I will use this article to develop a road map through the hate, or at least help you avoid the off-ramps and detours.
What is The Transgender Military Ban Policy
Beginning next year, trans-gendered Americans will no longer be considered fit to serve in our country s military unless they are willing to deny their true selves. Openly trans-gendered active military personnel will be scrutinized to determine their value. The required examination will determine if they are worthy of treatment as equal citizens. These heroes will have their lives upended and have their business and family life rocked by uncertainty.
Anything other than an honorable discharge, and these Americans will face enduring hardship for the rest of their lives.
In addition, Trump has halted the use of Department of Defense funds for sexual transition therapies. In this way, he is inserting himself between the patient and doctor and making life-changing decisions for you. Personal responsibility, my ass!
Then he has the stones (or pebbles, as it were) to insist that transgender soldiers decrease readiness and sex-transition therapies are costly, two complete fabrications from the Master of Distractions. Studies, both domestic and abroad, have clearly shown that health care cost increases aren’t statistically significant and reduction to readiness is negligible. Talk about “fake news”, why can he keep rehashing these debunked claims without any pushback?
Allow me a moment on my soap box; an increasingly removed and captive media landscape has become unable to distinguish fact from opinion as they pray at the “both-sides-do-it” altar. This has become a self-sacrificial altar as false equivalencies can be culled from disparate data sets, essentially distilling reality into a choose-your-own-adventure comic series. And whichever choice your make, there is a universe of alternative facts so you can feel safe and comfortable with your beliefs.
The news is not fake news because they report fake stories. It is fake news because opinions are allowed to be voiced as facts without any validation. It would seem anyone could speak on any subject and either by unpreparedness or ineptness, the statement would be accepted on face value. That’s not fake news, it’s fake reality.
But I digress, there is push back to Trump’s mean-spirited and altogether unnecessary decree in the form of federal lawsuits in Baltimore and Seattle. The ACLU is arguing on the behalf of six currently-serving transgender soldiers, while Lambda Legal is taking a different tact and representing young transgender men whom hoped to enlist. Together, these cases should prove the unnecessary nature and necessarily discriminatory practicum of enacting the ban on transgender troops.
The Misinformation Campaign
In reality, Trump has rolled back the protections secured in June 2016 when Obama ordered the Department of Defense to empower transgender servicemen and women. He is taking us back to the outright ban that existed on openly transgender military personnel, without any latitude or discretion. So the next time you are told that Trump has “put it in the hands of the Generals…”, he hasn’t, they minimal discretion for currently-serving transgender soldiers and none after June 2018.
So, Where Do We Go
There have always been transgender soldiers, even if we called them “cross-dressing”, and with over 30,000 new enlistments each year, a certain percentage of them will be transgender. For the time being, if you are actively injured by Trump’s transgender ban and can prove damages, contact an outside legal representative or the ACLU to learn about your options.
If you are a young man or women who feels mismatched in your skin, I hate to say it but you’ll have to hide who you are until the courts wind around to overturning this discriminatory ban. Even through you must conceal who you are, don’t ever forget how amazing and beautiful you are and that the broader American public exalts you for your service and one day you’ll be free to be whomever you are. To coin the cliche, “the night is darkest before the dawn”.