The transgender military ban is due entirely to transphobia.
Military service should be open to anyone who is willing and able. The U.S. legally excluded women from the military until 1948, why are we going back in history by excluding another group of people? President Donald Trump has set us back about 50 years because of how he treats women, minorities and the LBGT community.
Trump’s supporters listen to him and see how he treats and talks about people, and then they think it’s okay to act like that. Closeted bigots are now in the streets yelling how they feel at the people they hate.
Racist Americans who were previously non-political are now trumpeting Trump’s conservatism because they relate so deeply to his bigoted ways. Trump is not someone to relate to. No one should look up to a person who unapologetically targets entire groups of Americans.
Instead of telling people they can’t join the military, Trump should be supporting everyone who wants to serve the country. The army is not just for straight white men, as much as Trump would like it to be so. As long as a person is in good mental and physical health and wants to join, they should be eligible.
Someone’s gender or sex should not exclude them from joining anything, let alone serving our country. Sex refers to a person’s biological genitalia, and gender refers to a person’s concept of themself.
The transgender ban is transphobic, and there is no getting around that. There is no other explanation besides Trump’s clear disdain for those who don’t look, act and identify like him. He is a documented elitist and sexist, in addition to many other "-ist" words.
A key argument for this ban is the fact that people don’t want their taxes going toward paying for transgender people’s gender affirming surgeries, and I completely understand that. However, it’s doubtful transgender men and women’s first priority upon entering the military is to receive gender affirming surgery. Their first priority is serving their country.
The primary resource being provided to transgender men and women is hormone pills. If the army can find the money for Viagra, they can budget for hormones. Money is not the issue — the issue is bigotry.
Trump has changed the game for bigots. He’s made it socially acceptable to be as racist, homophobic or sexist as you want. Trump has a platform and he uses it to spew hatred.
He calls Mexicans drug dealers and gang members and tells the public they should be scared of them. He says “blue lives matter” instead of black lives. He says, “Grab her by the pussy.” His Vice President condoned conversion therapy for the LGBT community.
By spreading his hate, he makes the country dangerous for those he targets while he lives in his ivory tower – the White House. Just because something doesn’t affect you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect those around you. People who don’t understand the repercussions of Trump’s actions don’t have empathy for people who aren’t like them.
Ashlon Lusk is a 19-year-old mass communication sophomore from Houston, Texas.