As we stumble into January, this first month was a triumphant one for President Trump, as he, yet again, placed a bill on the table to exclude transgender folk from joining and serving in the military. Now, the bill is slightly confusing in a way that it does not ban all transgender folk as a whole but makes strict guidelines as to who is eligible to serve and who is not, the purpose of this week’s article is to clear some of that up.
Back in July of 2017, Trump tweeted, "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," which shocked those who identify as transgender and angered others.
First off, Trump said it was due to cost: "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," Trump said, although the Supreme Court justified it as ensuring “the most lethal and combat effective fighting force in the world,” according to CNN, as if transgender individuals are biologically incapable of inflicting force to fight for the country in which they have done for decades.
Ultimately, after a federal court ruling, the Pentagon “was forced to allow transgender applicants to join the military on Jan. 1, 2018,” according to CNN, but Trump persists. If completely developed, here is what the bill would entail, according to CNN: “Service members diagnosed with ‘gender dysphoria’ after joining the military can stay in the military if they do not require a change of gender and remain deployable, service members who were diagnosed with ‘gender dysphoria’ before the effective date of the policy can still serve and receive medical treatment and transgender persons without a gender dysphoria diagnosis or history can serve in their birth sex,” according to CNN.
This requires waivers signed by The Defense Department on a case-to-case manner, but ultimately anybody who “requires” gender affirmation surgery are automatically disqualified from serving in the military until 36 months after.
"This is the cruel centerpiece of the Trump administration's agenda to prevent the full inclusion of transgender people in public life," Laura Durso, Vice President of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress said. She claims it is “dehumanizing,” which, in retrospect it is. To halt someone’s affirmation to serve in a country they call home is not only dehumanizing, but it is, in fact, forcing transgender people into the shadows of the public, making sure they are not publicized in a manner that represents Trump’s United States.