By Jordan Valerie Allen
July 26, 2017 was the 69th anniversary of President Harry S. Truman desegregating the United States military.
July 26, 2017 was also the date President Donald J. Trump announced that transgender Americans will no longer be allowed to serve in our armed forces.
Brand New Congress unequivocally denounces President Donald Trump’s intent to ban transgender Americans from military service. This cruel and heartless decision threatens the livelihoods of thousands of brave individuals serving our country.
The military is the greatest employer of transgender people in the United States, with over 15,000 individuals serving. One in five transgender Americans have served in uniform. That’s over twice the percentage of the general U.S. population. But because of President Trump’s new policy, which he unveiled at 6am yesterday via Twitter, the future of these servicepeople hangs in the balance.
This ban sends a devastating message to transgender Americans. As with the rescinding of the Obama-era guidance supporting the right of transgender students to use the bathroom of their true gender, the Trump administration is saying that transgender Americans are not worthy of equal access to basic American rights, that they are somehow less patriotic simply because of their gender identity.
If there’s a silver lining to be had, it’s seeing that Trump’s decision doesn’t sit well with many veterans.