President Donald Trump shocked the nation on Wednesday when he announced in a series of tweets that he plans to prohibit transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity.
The proclamation sparked nationwide outrage, fury, and protest. Trump’s tweets claimed that the medical expenses for transgendered folks are too expensive for the military to provide; however, activists and others quickly shut down that excuse as pure nonsense.
$3.6 million = 1 of the president's golf trips— Sara Habein (@sshabein) July 26, 2017
$2.4 million = the total YEARLY cost of ALL trans-related healthcare for military personnel
Cost of trips to Mar-a-Lago & Bedminster golf course: estimated $29m— ProPublica (@ProPublica) July 27, 2017
Trans troops’ healthcare: $2.4m - $8.4m https://t.co/pHYOH1El9a
If the reason you cite is the expected ~$5 million cost for trans military healthcare out of the $6 BILLION total spent yearly, try again.— Alayna 🐱 (@MissFenderr) July 26, 2017
A reminder that two Presidential golf weekends cost as much as the entire estimated cost for the healthcare of all trans service members.— John Epler (@eplerjc) July 26, 2017
In a further effort to justify Trump’s ridiculous plan, the White House distributed an e-mail blast Thursday which urged people to read a column that claims transgender people are psychologically unfit to serve in the military, Uproxx reports.
The column titled, “I Was Once Transgender. Why I Think Trump Made The Right Decision For The Military,” seeks to explain why such a discriminatory ban is supposedly for the best.
The White House highlighted one section in particular — that aligns with Trump’s initial tweets — asserting that the government “paying for transition-related surgeries for military service members and their families is beyond comprehensible.”
The White House just sent out email blasts and tweets recommending you read an article about how transgender is a psychological disorder. pic.twitter.com/zHUwX8dwXX— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 26, 2017
However, the column also states more deplorable "facts," such as the statement that “people are not born” with gender dysphoria, which the article claims is a psychological issue stemming from “prolonged anxiety and depression.”
“The ‘proof’ for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria is having strongly held feelings — but feelings can and often do change over time, the column continues. The military is expected to prepare its members in warfare: to kill, destroy, and break our enemies. The most important factors in preparing a strong military are not hormone therapy, surgical sex changes, or politically correct education. We need psychologically fit, emotionally sound, highly trained troops to protect our nation from its enemies.”
This really goes without saying, but one's psychological wellness isn't dependent on their gender as evidenced by the fact that there are plenty of non-transgender individuals serving in the military with psychological issues. Many veterans and current members of the armed forces are living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which is often caused and triggered by horrific military experiences.
The article shared by the White House and Trump's proposed ban are not only preposterous, but also perpetuate negative stigmas about the transgender community that the country should be working to eradicate politically and socially.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters, Zach Gibson