In 2017, President Trump called for a ban on transgender military troops via Twitter, stating “our military…cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail”.
After much debate and conflict about this issue within the court system, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Pentagon can now implement this ban.
Here are some of the basics of this ban: (1) as of now, this ban will not affect troops currently serving in the military (2) people who now want to serve can only do so if they remain their biological sex (3) anyone who has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and has received medical treatment for this cannot serve in the military.
This law very much resembles the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that lasted from the mid-90’s until 2011. You can identify as transgender, but you cannot serve in the military if you receive treatment at all. The military says they can identify openly, but that disregards the fact that it is a condition that requires medical treatment.
Blake Dremann, the president of a transgender military member advocacy group called SPART*A, made a really interesting and valid point. During his interview on CBS News he said, “Here we have identified an issue that is treatable, does not keep people from deploying or anything from doing their jobs and we’ve told our troops that you have to choose between treatment and your job which, for many folks, their families depend on that.” I completely agree with this; if being transgender does not affect one’s ability to adequately serve this country, then why should that prevent them from being in the military?
The part about this whole situation that bothers me the most is the fact that people who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria can serve in the military as long as they do not receive medical treatment. This is essentially making people who have been diagnosed with this choose between serving in the military and getting treatment. This means that people who suffer from gender dysphoria and who choose to serve in the military will not be receiving much needed treatment, which will likely affect their work. The other option is to receive the treatment, but give up the option of serving their country, a right that any other qualified person over the age of 18 has.
To me, this ban makes no sense. Transgender people are not inherently less qualified to serve our country than any other able-bodied person. I think transgender people wanting to enter the military should be held to the same standard that anyone else is. As long as they are both physically and mentally healthy enough to serve our country, the fact that they are transgender should not play a role in determining their entrance into the military.