Trump Transgender Ban Controversy

Matthew L. Self

President Trump’s administration has come under fire recently for pushing the Supreme Court to come to a decision regarding new policies restricting military service of transgender people. President Trump announced via Twitter in 2017 that he would overturn an Obama-era decision that allowed those with gender dysphoria to serve in the military. This has caused much criticism to fly at the Trump administration as many believe this push to restrict transgender individuals is the result of discrimination while others see it as a wise move for the military.

Over the holiday weekend, Trump pushed for the Supreme Court to take into account the transgender military ban before circuit-level courts have issued rulings on the policy. Many transgender advocates see this move as a final push by the Trump administration to get policy cemented on the issue with the now conservative majority Supreme Court. The Trump administration has commented that the issue of transgender military units is a national crisis that is of imperative public importance to the authority of the U.S. military.

Thousands of military units serve openly as transgender individuals going through their own personal struggles, including gender reassignment surgery, and now have to worry about the upcoming threat of President Trump’s new policies, which would not specifically ban transgender troops from service but would require that they serve as the gender they were born with. Various LGBT advocate groups have won many victories in the fight for equality in the military and have since President Trump took office. It has been largely successful with creating inclusive policies that benefit transgender troops.

But many believe that the Trump administration has a point, meaning that the large amount of money that the military spends on helping transgender troops go through gender reassignment surgery, estimated at around $9 million a year, is a waste of money. They are concerned only with the military’s capabilities in fielding the best troops available and not being concerned with the expensive and time consuming surgeries required by some transgender troops.

An anonymous military veteran and member of the LGBT community held to the belief that the Trump administration was doing the right thing in pushing this new policy.

“Yes, everyone needs equality but it’s war. We don’t have time to play games. You can’t accommodate to every want of every soldier. It’s not the job of the military to make you feel comfortable, it’s supposed to make you feel dirty, uncomfortable and tired and ready to defend the country when duty calls,” the veteran said.

Many within the military and outside of it believe that the military is improved by its diversity and its willingness to accept people of all backgrounds within its ranks. The integration of more transgender troops in recent years is a tribute to the core values of the military and a reflection of the American people.

An anonymous student at Washburn held to the belief that the Trump administration’s push to hamper the actions of transgender troops in the military would be harmful in the future.

“Transgender troops are an integral part of the military and they show the world that they are as qualified as any other soldiers to serve in our military. If someone wants to serve in the U.S. they should have the freedom to do so without facing discrimination.”

President Trump’s swift actions in pushing for his policies to be passed are sure to cause more friction in the coming days between LGBT advocates and supporters of President Trump’s policies. For now, at least, the policy will remain hotly contested as it continues to be considered by the lower courts of the U.S.