In a move designed to distract and alienate, President Trump announced via tweet at 6 a.m. on July 26th that he would be instituting a ban on trans people serving in the United States Armed Forces. This would overturn a Department of Defense (DOD) policy that has been in place since June of 2016, which states that “…transgender individuals may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military solely for being transgender individuals.”
In Trump’s series of tweets, he states that “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender (sic) in the military would entail,” apparently unaware that trans people have been serving openly in the U.S. military for over a year.
This abrupt change in policy goes against DOD research, such as that conducted by the RAND corporation, which clearly indicates that transgender members of the armed services have “minimal impact on readiness and healthcare costs”. According to the Washington Post, citing a Military Times analysis, the military currently spends five times as much on Viagra as they do on hormones for transgender service people. Trump provided no research or evidence to support his claims about medical cost or disruption. Estimates vary as to how many trans people are currently on active duty in the U.S. military, but many sources say that there are around 7,000, with around 3,000 in the reserves.
Jayme McIntyre, a local transwoman who served for two years in the US Navy as part of a fighter squadron, doesn’t believe that trans service members are a disruption, but that bigots are. “We are willing to fight for our country,” she says “We are willing to fight and die for the same people who won’t even let use the bathroom.”
In response to Trump’s statements and the whirlwind of ignorant comments that followed – Pittsburgher’s are rallying to safe guard our local trans folks. Here’s how you can help them!
Join SisTers Pgh in Organizing a Letter Writing Group
SisTersPGH plans to extend their letter writing program from trans inmates to trans folks serving in the military. Ciora Thomas founder of SisTersPGH is looking for folks interested in volunteering to help connect them to currently enlisted trans soldiers. Hear more from Ciora and her response in the video below:
Sinful Sundays “Resist” TransPride Benefit Show
When performer Costa Lottabuckz heard about these comments, it solidified her drive to want to organize fundraisers for her community. Saturday August 13th will be the first of many Sinful Saturday shows in a series of monthly benefits for local LGBTQIA+ and nonprofit organizations that will be hosted at Brewers. This weekend’s funds goes directly to TransPride Pgh, a 7 years old organization, founded and run by trans folks and allies. They focus on advocacy, empowerment, education and networking.
Triple Threat Trans Community Rally & Benefit
In direct response to 45’s proposed ban on transgender folks in the military, folks are gathering together local trans leaders, artists and performers to raise some funds and support for SisTers PGH, TransPride Pittsburgh and Trans YOUniting. You will get to hear from the leaders of these organizations, see local performers, poets, and artists. It’s 5 bucks at the door, Aug. 29th from 7pm-11pm. See the Facebook page for details.
QueerPGH would like to extend our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to all our trans veterans and active personnel.