As I am sure you have all seen, the President of the United States took to Twitter today to say that no transgender will be allowed to hold any military office position. This, quite frankly, is absurd.
Lets’ look at the facts here:
As of 2014, an estimated 15,500 transgender individuals were currently serving on active duty or military reserves. That’s 15,500 people who decided to protect our families and futures. Additionally, an estimate of armed forces service was higher for the transgender community than it was for all other adults. 32.0% of service was from transgender individuals assigned male at birth and 5.5% assigned female at birth whereas there was only 19.7% cis male and 1.7% cis female. Now, add on top of those staggering figures the veterans and retirees of services. From the same 2014 survey, approximately 134,300 transgender individuals had retired from, or were veterans of service.
The argument against transgender individuals serving is the idea that, because they do not fit in our male/female boxes, they will pose a hazard to troops. However in a survey of 445 LGBTQA+ military veterans, the opposite was proved true. Their sexual orientation or gender identity brought troops together instead of tearing them apart like feared. Furthermore, it was shown that no matter where these individuals turned to work, they always faced discrimination and harassment. In some cases, individuals were even fired for their gender identity, NOT their actions on the job.
Workplace discrimination is an issue that continues to
plague the U.S. armed forces. Although DADT was officially repealed by the Obama administration on September 20, 2011, transgender service members were not accommodated or even acknowledged.
Many also believe this will cut down on spending from the military by ending payment for transgender service members. However, these services don’t cost as much as you would like to think:
Aaron Belkin, a professor of political science at San Francisco State University, told Reuters that transition care for transgender members of the United States military would cost around $5.6 million—an amount he called “little more than a rounding error,” considering the military’s total expenditure. The $5.6 million sum breaks down to $0.22 per service member per month.
The military actually pays more for Viagra than they do from hormones. Lets just keep in mind that Viagra is NOT NECESSARY for anything other than fixing E.D. which has NOTHING to do with service AT ALL. the military actually spends around $41.6 million on this one drug alone. Even with the most expensive outlook on transitioning medicines and procedures the outlook was only $8.4 million dollars. So tell me: whats killing the bank more? Hormones or Viagra? It’s pretty obvious from over here (and I’m not even a math major).
It is time to ask yourself when a transgender individual has EVER displayed signs that they are unfit to contribute to society? The answer is never, it is those around them who press shame and fear because they don’t or they do not want to understand their struggles. the transgender community already has so much strife, why would you keep them from doing the greatest duty they can to their country and serve it?
Dietert, Michelle, and Dianne Dentice. “The Transgender Military Experience.” SAGE Open. SAGE Open, 10 June 2015. Web. 26 July 2017. <http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2158244015584231>.
Ingraham, Christopher. “The Military Spends Five times as Much on Viagra as It Would on Transgender Troops’ Medical Care.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 26 July 2017. Web. 26 July 2017. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/26/the-military-spends-five-times-as-much-on-viagra-as-it-would-on-transgender-troops-medical-care/>.
Zillman, Claire. “Transgender Transition Care Will Cost the Military This Much.” Military’s Bill For Transgender Transition Care Will Be Small: Expert | Fortune.com. Fortune, 13 Aug. 2015. Web. 26 July 2017. <http://fortune.com/2015/08/13/transgender-military-cost/>.
Gates, Gary J.; & Herman, Jody. (2014). Transgender Military Service in the United States. The Williams Institute. UCLA: The Williams Institute. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1t24j53h