Trans* service members banned from serving military

Photo Credit: The Advocate

Gay Friendly Pennsylvania wants to reaffirm its love and support for all our trans* members but particularly those who serve, have served, or who have aspirations to serve our country. We are saddened by #45’s decision, but we are not surprised. The current administration openly preached its support of the LGBTQ community during the election and has openly worked against each and every member of its community since it entered office.

While it is unclear how the President’s  directive will affect those who currently serve our military, we do know several criteria including military effectiveness, ability to be deployed, and budgetary concerns will contribute to how Defense Secretary Jim Mattis executes the President’s order.

According to the New York Times, Mattis has six months to implement the order. It is clear those trans* citizens who had hopes and dreams of serving this country are barred from pursuing that career path. Although the current directive prescribes what the military can and can no longer do, we think it is important to focus on the wholesale disenfranchisement of an entire group of people.

We do not believe this military ban should stand, and we believe it should recognized amidst the greater context, with an agenda to disenfranchise the entire LGBTQ community. The move places the most vulnerable among our community at the heart of its agenda with the intended purpose of hurting these members and leveraging weaknesses in our unity to drive us apart. We believe these actions are disheartening on two fronts: it allows the highest office in the land to rob people of the ability to use their skills to support themselves, AND it openly allows and cosigns discrimination based solely on identity. Adding insult to injury, those who are or have defended the protections and freedoms that the President swore to protect are placed in a more vulnerable position.

Despite this development, we believe a majority of Americans do not support this ban, this President, or this agenda. We believe that we are loved, supported, and accepted in this country. We also believe the only way forward to focus on building a culture and country that elevates the disenfranchised, provides tools for its citizens to pursue their dreams to the fullest extent of their potential, and accepts and aerates the sins of its fathers and commits itself to doing better. We believe both this country and its values are worth fighting for – for everyone, even those who seek to harm us.

Lamba Legal has promised to fight the ban in court. Learn more, provide funding, or share your story here.