Donald Trump used Twitter to announce that the government would “not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military.” That means more than 15,000 transgender troops reportedly currently serving are now facing an uncertain future.
Online, trans and non-binary commentators, organizations, and allies are slamming the announcement, saying the thousands of trans service members and veterans who’ve served on the front lines “deserve better from their commander in chief,” as the ACLU put it.
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow……— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
The news comes after the Pentagon planned to repeal its ban on transgender members in 2016, having previously lifted its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for lesbian, gay and bi troops. A year later, the planned repeal was delayed six months. It seems that Trump’s Wednesday announcement on social media caught even the Pentagon off-guard, with a CBS News correspondent in the White House telling Twitter that all questions are being referred back to the Oval Office.
Considering Trump’s previous pledges to support the LGBTIQ community (made while running against Hillary Clinton) and considering the ripple effect Trump’s decision to ban service people will have on the beliefs and behaviors of already-discriminatory and bigoted groups—it’s no surprise that the uproar has been widespread.
Decorated Navy SEAL and trans woman Kristen Beck earned a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and a SEAL Trident while serving her country. On Wednesday, she responded on Trump’s tweets by saying “meet me and tell me I’m not worthy to my face.”
@realDonaldTrump YOU just opened a can of WHOOP-ASS!!!!#NavySEAL #pipehitter #transgenderMEET ME & tell me I’m not WORTHY to my face. pic.twitter.com/eqAHTysfma— Chief Beck (@valor4us) July 26, 2017
Beck wasn’t alone in her condemnation.
so, biggest baddest most $$ military on earth cries about a few trans people 😩 but funds the F-35? 😑 sounds like cowardice 😎💕🌈 #WeGotThis— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) July 26, 2017
Trolling at its finest from a man who’s never served & shown up the way trans servicefolk have & are https://t.co/r8f6vW2N4J— Janet Mock (@janetmock) July 26, 2017
I salute trans folk like @OnlyShaneOrtega who’ve fought for a country whose president won’t fight for them https://t.co/OklGMEuXKi— Janet Mock (@janetmock) July 26, 2017
Years after I was discharged, I found out that I served w someone who is transgender. Had zero clue. Didn’t matter because he had my back.— dylan (@dyllyp) July 26, 2017
Every single trans person is braver than Donald Trump— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) July 26, 2017
And that’s that on that! pic.twitter.com/tDsgVZb3Fm— Joöno Revånche (@jonnoxrevanche) July 26, 2017
This comes literally one week after the GOP-led US House *rejected* an amendment to roll back trans military rights: https://t.co/i5z8lZW8RD pic.twitter.com/UA0na4VCaF— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) July 26, 2017
As trans women and men We have never asked for anything other than to live our life as our authentic self this hate has to stop!— candis cayne (@candiscayne) July 26, 2017
Let me get this straight: Donald Trump won’t let trans people who want to serve in the military but dodged service 5 times himself? Ok cool.— Cole Ledford (@ColeLedford11) July 26, 2017
We’re appalled by #Trump’s comments on #trans in US army – deeply offensive and plain wrong. Solidarity with our trans siblings in the US. pic.twitter.com/GwcnF3OXxd— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) July 26, 2017
I, a trans person, have done more for the defense of America than Trump ever will.— Emily of the State (@EmilyGorcenski) July 26, 2017
Taking care of trans soldiers costs about the same as four of Trump’s trips to Mar a Lago https://t.co/1CYSBJJGHO pic.twitter.com/MrOGxW87ml— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) July 26, 2017
Even trans people who are willing to risk their lives to defend their country are merely a “disruption” to Trump. pic.twitter.com/UGUJyyRJkz— NARAL (@NARAL) July 26, 2017
Just another glorious day in Trump’s America. I wonder who’s rights he’ll strip away next? Mine today yours tomorrow https://t.co/RcCPwKL3nU pic.twitter.com/q91cBqJTzQ— Chaz Bono (@ChazBono) July 26, 2017
The only thing – only thing – that matters when it comes to allowing military personnel to serve is whether or not they can handle the job.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 26, 2017