The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has announced that transgender people will not be allowed to serve in the US military.
It was a series of early morning tweets that set of a firestorm of replies and backlash. More alarming than what was said was the mode of communication used to get the message across — a series of tweets 140 characters at a time, in typical Trump fashion.
President Trump tweeted that after a consultation with military experts, the United States government will not allow or accept transgender people to serve in the military at any capacity. Trump further said the military should be focused on “decisive and overwhelming victory.”
Trump then indicated that transgender individuals would burden the military with medical costs. President Trump has seemingly gone against his promise to be inclusive of all Americans.
Many twitter users were left in disbelief by the President’s announcement, many of them wondering if his tweets were a sort of newsworthy distraction from the investigation being carried out on his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his alleged involvement in the US-Russia relations.
It was only last year that former President Barack Obama‘s administration announced that transgender individuals could serve in the military. President Trump’s decision to reverse this law seems to be another step in undoing everything his predecessor has achieved.
Since the ban on transgender individuals was lifted in 2016, the Pentagon was actively trying to determine how to accept new transgender individuals wishing to serve the military.
During President Trump’s election campaign, he actively had support from a popular transgender celebrity, Caitlyn Jenner. In the past few months Jenner expressed her disapproval of President Trump’s actions, with this one being the last break. Jenner tweeted “ There are 15,000 patriotic transgender Americans in the US military fighting for all of us. What happened to your promise to fight for them?” Jenner then reposted a tweet from President Trump is 2016 before the elections where Trump thanked the LGBT community and promised to fight for them while claiming Hillary Clinton would “threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”
It seems that one year later, President Trump himself is threatening the freedoms of the transgender community.
As many advocacy groups and celebrities continue to speak out against Trump’s decision, a spokeswoman for the Minister of National Defence in Canada reminded everyone that transgender people have been allowed to serve openly in the Canadian Armed Forces since 1992 and their position remains unchanged.
President Trump’s tweets have left many people confused and looking to the White House to answer some questions — something Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, seemed unwilling (or unable) to do on the day of the announcement.
What’s next? Will women be banned from the U.S. military? How about immigrants? With President Trump, who knows where the line will be drawn — if it’s drawn at all.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!