Back in July 2017, President Donald Trump announced via twitter his plan to create a new policy that would ban transgender service in the military. The day that the ban finally takes effect could be soon.
Recently, the Supreme Court voted in a 5 to 4 decision to lift the injunctions that had blocked Trump’s policy from being enacted. While there are still obstacles to face within the court process, the policy could very well begin.
Trump’s policy would ban “transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition” from serving in the U.S. military. According to President Trump’s tweet,
The justification for the ban is about the, “tremendous medical costs and disruption” transgender people would cause.
Research from the Research And Development Corporation, which works with the U.S. Armed Forces, said that transition-related healthcare costs can be placed between $2.4 million and $8.4 million per year. Although, defense data reviewed by the Palm Center revealed that the cost was lower at about $2.2 million.
While there is still a cost associated, it is dramatically exaggerated by Trump’s sources and begs the question: Is cost really the root cause of this ban?
Judging by Trump administration’s policies and values, it is safe to assume that this administration is not for Trans rights. Vice President Mike Pence worked to ban same-sex marriage and believes in the use of conversion therapy, which doesn’t exactly inspire inclusion nor acceptance.
The root of this issue is transphobia. Certain people would prefer to pretend that Trans people don’t exist and obscure their visibility. Trump’s administration and many of his supporters wish to erase the presence of openly Trans people within the military.
This is dangerous, as it doesn’t just impact the military — it creates a culture of exclusion, ignorance, and fear throughout our country of things we don’t know. It could lead to a rise in LGBTQ+ hate crimes and the continuance of other discriminatory policies, such as Trans bathroom laws.
Military bans are just a stepping stone to others forms of exclusion and discrimination, and they have no place in our country, as many of us our striving for a more equal society.
We need to treat all members of society and the military with the same respect. Banning a certain population doesn’t hold up to the standards of our country or constitution. America should strive for the utmost level of acceptance and inclusion in all of our institutions.