Trump has decided that transgender people will no longer be accepted into the US military (CNN discusses this) and those transgender people who are already serving (thanks to the progress the Obama administration made) will somehow be phased out, as if they’re a trend not humans.
The public reasoning behind Trump’s decision is supposedly to lower health care expenditures and prevent disruption, yet an analysis I read suggests that any money spend on transgender people’s specific health care costs pale in comparison to the overall money spent by the defense fund each year on soldiers’ health care (something like $49 billion compared to 8 million, but I’m not double checking sources here so please do that before believing my memory of a statistic). Shockingly, or not, it seems as if Trump is misrepresenting the reasoning behind his decision. Not like this is out of the ordinary though, as I have a feeling this is going to be his M.O. till the day he dies.
I guess Trump doesn’t give a fuck about whether or not his decision increases the divisiveness between soldiers and civilians. I think it will. And I think it is a false assumption that having trans and cis people working together in the army is disruptive, when in reality the leader of the country saying trans people aren’t accepted in the army is what is likely going to create more disruption than continuing to progress and allow people to identify as they choose to.
Now I think soldiers who are cis who’d be open to socializing and supporting trans military personnel may no longer feel safe doing so in case the cis people also have their jobs get threatened because of some stupid idea that “birds of a feather flock together” and the military brass might start to become paranoid and think a cis person can’t be friends with a trans person. Maybe all of my fears about what Trump’s decision is going to cause within the US military and the US as a whole are exaggerated and totally off base. Maybe they’re not.
Hopefully, there will be enough push back to have this decision reversed. Maybe Trump will be exposed to more ideas that might trigger his brain to stop for a second and consider the possibility that trans people don’t pose any threat to other people. How one wants their body to look, their name to be, their voice to sound, and the decision to claim the identity that one feels is right does not mean there is something devious, sinister, or bad about a person. Lying, stealing, cheating, abusing, murdering, and doing other forms of harm to others and oneself are the types of things (dramatic cough ahem ahem) that should be banned from the army and that should be feared, not being trans. Yes, I am passive-aggressively taking jabs at Trump, because at a bare minimum based on his own words I know that he is okay with using his power to sexually assault women. So yes, I hate Trump plain and simple for this reason alone, because I think he does the things he should fear, not trans people (which is not to say all trans people are perfect, every human is a combination of both good and bad and it’s an ongoing struggle for everybody to be a better person..I am just focusing on Trump’s bad parts because they affect too many people to go uncriticized).
It is so sad and VERY SCARY (I feel scared and I’m not even the one being targeted specifically, but aren’t we all being targeted when society tries to restrict things about your identity that shouldn’t be other people’s business or choice?) that Trump has decided to target trans people not just in the army but everywhere. I am thinking of people who are trans or identify under the LGBTQ umbrella and who live in a small town, who don’t have the money to move to a big, more evolved city space (not that all city spaces are evolved, but some pockets tend to be–again most often for those with $$$), who don’t have the confidence or positive reinforcement yet (for some people sadly this day never comes) to see that being treated poorly for one’s gender identity or sexuality is unacceptable, and who get targeted with threats of violence, experience violence. There are trans people being murdered in the US each year (for example this former soldier was just sentence in the US last week for murdering a transgender woman after the soldier had a sexual encounter with her) for stepping outside of the lines of these rigid, life-threatening gender binaries that people like Trump appear to cling to at any and all costs.
I don’t know how this is going to end. I am so lucky in that my gender identity conforms to gender ideals and I’ve never been targeted in the way trans people continue to be. Just because I’m not targeted doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter to me though. It is not okay for people to be scared to be themselves (unless your true self is, say, a child molester or murderer). Being trans doesn’t hurt other people. Hating trans people does hurt and kill people. Can Trump learn to love and use his power to unite? I don’t know, but let’s not stop trying to get this man and others like him to see the light and realize trans people being who they want to be does not take away from their lives at all. I identify as a cis-gender person and therefore maybe I shouldn’t speak about trans people at all. I hope I didn’t speak for trans people, but in support of those who identify as trans.