Rage permeated throughout social media on Wednesday morning after President Donald Trump announced over Twitter a ban on trans people serving in the U.S. military.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
On the campaign trail for the 2016 election, Trump claimed he would be a better ally to the LGBTQ community than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. But the trans ban comes after Trump failed to recognize LGBTQ Pride Month in June and, earlier in the year, he moved to rollback federal protections for transgender students. Trump was quickly called an “a–hole” and “the stupidest, most incompetent president ever” by celebrities overwhelmed with anger with the decision.
A study published by the Rand Corporation in 2016 determined an estimated 1,320-6,630 trans service members to be in active duty and 1,510 in selected reserve.
Aaron Belkin, director of independent research institute The Palm Center, said in a statement that “the president is creating a worse version of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ As we know from the sad history of that discredited policy, discrimination harms military readiness. This is a shocking and ignorant attack on our military and on transgender troops who have been serving honorably and effectively for the past year.”
He continued, “As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen stated yesterday, their service must be respected. The Rand Corporation has estimated that the cost of medical care for transgender troops is approximately one one-hundredth of one percent of the military annual health care budget, or at most, $8.4 million per year. To claim otherwise is to lie about the data.”
“Wow no words,” trans actress Candis Cayne tweeted. “As trans women and men We have never asked for anything other than to live our life as our authentic self this hate has to stop!”
Chelsea Manning and Janet Mock joined in, calling Trump’s announcement “trolling at its finest from a man who’s never served & shown up the way trans servicefolk have & are.”
Caitlyn Jenner was also the subject of many tweets, including one from Sandra Bernhard. The reality star voted for Trump and has continuously defended that decision. “Wake up sweetheart,” Bernhard wrote. “Give Your wonderful president a call & discuss #noTransgender in military.” The singer added, “Congrats on a great choice!”
Jenner herself later responded via Twitter to the ban: “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?”
See more responses below.
In a statement, GLAAD slammed Trump’s ban, calling it a “direct attack on transgender Americans.”
“His administration will stop at nothing to implement its anti-LGBTQ ideology within our government – even if it means denying some of our bravest Americans the right to serve and protect our nation,” Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said. “Today further exposed President Trump’s overall goal to erase LGBTQ Americans from this nation. Trump has never been a friend to LGBTQ Americans, and this action couldn’t make that any more clear.”
More to come…