Imagine being stripped of your right to choose because of living a lifestyle that was completely beyond your control? The American transgender community woke up to just that nightmare. Almost a day ago Donald Trump released the following three-tweet long bombshell…
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. 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 (sic)”
To paraphrase, President Trump decided to ban transgender individuals from serving in the US Army as their presence supposedly brings with it ‘tremendous medical costs’. Before any of us try and reason with the ban, let it be known that the Pentagon has claimed to be in the dark about the ban, thus immediately throwing doubt to his claim of having met and discussed this with Generals. Further, The Washington Post released a statement saying that the total annual medical costs for transgender individuals can go up to $8.4 million which is only 0.001% of President Trump’s $584 billion defense budget. All in all, this just seems like an excuse to disrespect a section of society while appeasing to the supposed majority in the leftist population that are quite uncomfortable with the LGBTQ community (which, for the record, Trump vowed to protect and love during his 2016 campaigns).
In a world of left vs. right or conservatives vs. liberals, I believe a person’s stance on the LGBTQ community should not be a deciding factor of where one’s loyalties lie. Sadly, it is based on views on the so-called ‘unconventional’ section of society that people are categorized as being liberal or otherwise. I believe that an individual does not stop being human just because they are born differently or are born with a different view on life. The definition of being liberal or conservative should be restrained to the choices each individual makes in their own lives while learning to respect the choices of another. Empathy or an attempt at it is merely human, is it not? However, this political division just seems like the survival of the fittest while proving that one way of life is better over the other. I personally see this as an attempt to sabotage the values and work of the opposition.
I remember rejoicing when former President Barack Obama repealed the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy which took effect on September 20, 2011 where all members of the LGBTQ community could serve in Armed forces without the fear of being judged by their superiors or losing their jobs. It gave me hope that progressive change is possible when a person with the clear comprehension of ‘human rights’ is elected to power. Yet, I felt the ghost of the nightmare the transgender community woke up to, haunt me when the news broke. Could advancement in humanity come crashing down in just three tweets?
So why is a basic human right to choose to serve one’s country being stripped from the American transgender community when, in fact, there seems to be little truth in the claims given by President Trump? Sadly, I can only assume just like the rest of the world. There is something quite unsettling when a country capable of setting standards, influencing trends and breaking boundaries resets its clock to almost a decade ago.
Why, Mr. Trump, why?