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November 11, 2019 3 min read

On this Veterans Day, we honor the over 18 million Americans who have proudly defended all of our rights and freedoms by serving in the U.S. Military. Today, we #StandForSomething in solidarity with the transgender members of our military who have been banned from serving our country by the Trump administration, simply for having the courage to live their truth.

In July of 2017, Donald J. Trump sent three tweets that threw the lives and livelihoods of more than 130,000 transgender troops into question by stating, “The United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

 

Sergeant Sam Hunt, U.S. Army National Guard

Photo By 2nd Lt. Emerson Marcus

 

 Like all members of our Armed Forces, trans members of our military serve with unquestioning loyalty to our great nation. “Duty automatically came before self. I cannot imagine my life without having served,” transgender military veteran Shawn Skelly told OUT magazine in 2017. Trump and his cohorts “are doing all that they can to make us disappear from society,” transgender vet, Donna Price told OUT in the same 2017 story.

The late Senator John McCain, a veteran himself, swiftly condemned the change stating, “We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are.”

 

Donna Price Transgender Navy Officer

Donna Price, Captain, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Photo By Roger Erickson for OUT Magazine.

 

Shawn Skelly, Navy commander, and former director of the executive secretariat in the Department of Transportation under President Barack Obama

Photo By Roger Erickson for OUT Magazine.

 

Only a year earlier, the Obama administration had declared that trans people could openly serve. “So much careful thought had gone into the development of the policy, with consensus at the highest levels of military leadership,” wrote former U.S. Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus Jr. “I cannot recall another instance in the United States military history of such a stark and unfounded reversal of policy,” Mabus said in response to Trump’s ban.

In March 2019, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist signed the Directive-type Memorandum-19-004 (DTM). The DTM, which took effect earlier this year, does allow trans people to serve, as long as they are willing to conform to their gender assigned at birth, which includes adhering to that gender’s hygiene and grooming standards.

 

We Stand With All Our Veterans and Troops

Photo Credit: Michael Nigro for Getty Images (June 26, 2017 NYC protests ban)

 

“If you’re transgender and are being forced to live in your birth sex, you have to directly deny who you are,” Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights told Mother Jones in March 2019. “Not only does the Trump-Pence transgender military ban violate the Constitution, but now the administration is also defying a court order,” Minter said.

On this Veterans Day, we honor our troops - ALL of our troops - who valiantly serve our country to defend our American values, rights and freedoms.

We proudly #StandForSomething with our trans brothers and sisters and will fight for their right to defend our nation and serve in our country’s Armed Forces. #StandForSomething with us!

 


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