Trump’s Trans Military Ban Has Far Reaching Implications

Trans people are not a disruption, Trump is.

Right now, there are trans people in America who are being murdered, who have no access to healthcare, who are being evicted from their homes or denied access to food. There are also approximately 2,450 trans people serving in the military right this very second. Instead of further revoking rights, we should be centering those most disproportionately affected by state sanctioned violence.

This morning Trump went on another one of his Twitter rants—this time he was making public his plans for policy around transgender military rights. This action to revoke the rights for trans people to serve in the military has far reaching implications. As Trump has not cited any data or numbers behind his claims that trans service members are a “tremendous medical costs and disruption,” it is unclear whether or not he fully understands these implications.

Related: Anti-Transgender Amendment Goes to Vote Today

His goal with these tweets is to get people riled and angry. He’s like your high school bully who would feed off of getting a reaction out of you. Instead of giving him the reaction he wants—we need to continue our resistance and fight towards true liberation. Towards ensuring trans youth have access to a safe education, that homeless TWOC have a place to live, that trans people are fed and given the right to serve their country if that is what they choose.

“Trans people will not be liberated by participation in American imperial violence,” GNC activist Mari Allison wrote on Facebook today. “We will be liberated by access to education, healthcare, and safety. Our existence should not be defined by our ability to participate in the violence that oppresses us and our siblings across the globe. This #transmilitaryban is a distraction from the actual fight for our existence.”

Protections for trans people who are on active duty is vital and trans service members are not a “disruption.” There are many reasons why people enter the military, some for survival, access to education, regular meals, a roof over their heads and clean clothes, and some for secure healthcare.

This ban not only threatens the livelihoods and financial security of trans service members and their families, but it threatens their lives. Trump is known for making statements like this which empower bigots to enact violence—when trans and GNC people are already disproportionately more likely to experience hate crimes. The rates of violent acts against trans people sees an uptick whenever a politician or public figure speaks publicly their anti-trans rhetoric.

Related: Minnesota Department of Education Introduces Transgender ‘Toolkit’

The Williams Institute ran numbers on the cost of trans military healthcare, “Overall, we find that transition-related health care benefits have zero or very low costs, have low utilization by employees, and yet can provide benefits for employers and employees alike.” Providing transgender troops with gender affirming medical treatment would cost the military between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually. Meanwhile, the military currently spends $84 million annually on Viagra, according to The Military Times.

This action taken by #45 will have further implications than these direct impacts on trans service members. Because of these numbers, it seems very likely that something else behind the surface is forthcoming to further revoke trans rights. Many activists fear this is a part of a broader campaign to remove gender identity protections from the law such as Title IX.

Jax Jackson said it well when they took to Facebook this morning to write about caring for community. “I want to remind you that you don’t have to play that game. You can go play your own game. You can be mad, then get active,” Jackson wrote. “If you let the anger stagnate it’ll go to waste. Use it. Put all that energy and time you spend being mad at his tweets into BUILDING. Donate some money. Volunteer some time. Go to the gym or the bakery or the church or the beach or a lover or wherever makes you feel whole. Use his tweets as FUEL to build the world he doesn’t want to see. BUILD. Stay alive and stay lovingly afloat, focused and energized and full of HOPE. Not optimism—HOPE.”

Related: A Gun in Her Face, This Black Trans Woman Fought Back

Collective liberation comes in many forms and taking away the right for trans people to serve in the military is undoubtedly a step backward. It is an act of violence towards the trans community. One more very loud statement from the current administration that they do not value trans lives or liberation. That—just as it has always been—our community must continue resisting and fighting for our own rights while demanding allies (in the government and otherwise) do better for the LGBTQ community. If you would like to join GO Magazine, we will be at the NYC Rally Against Trump Decision to Ban Trans Military Service this evening. If you don’t live in the NYC area and want to be an ally to trans community, consider donating to the Transgender American Veterans Association or the Trans Women of Color Collective.

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