Earlier today, President Trump took to his personal Twitter account to announce that a decision has been made that transgender people could no longer serve in any branch of the US Military. Immediately, many members of both the military and civilian population had many questions, and two former active duty service people who happen to be trans are among those speaking out against President Trump’s announcement.
20-year veteran of the Navy SEALs, Kristen (born Christopher) Beck was part of the elite SEAL 6 team that eventually caught Osama Bin Laden back in 2011 and became the focus of a 2014 documentary, Lady Valor. She didn’t hold back when the announcement was made, calling on the President to meet her “face to face” so that he could tell the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medal recipient that she was not worthy of the work she achieved when serving.
“Transgender doesn’t matter. Do your service,” Beck told Business Insider. “Being transgender doesn’t affect anyone else. We are liberty’s light. If you can’t defend that for everyone that’s an American citizen, that’s not right.”
Army Sgt. Shane Ortega, the first out-trans member of the military, did not mince words either. “Trump is a man who is literally a war-dodger, who comes from a life of privilege and silver spoon, who has no connection to reality whatsoever, and I don’t know how much more the American public needs to see that.” The eight-year army veteran’s trailblazing opened the door for other out transfolks to serve in active duty, starting an organization to help support trans service people.
With the President’s assertion that transgender people cost too much money and are disruptive, The Washington Post ran some numbers. RAND reports that the cost for trans health care in the military can be anywhere from $2.4 to $8.4 million dollars annually, but an independent military report shows that the armed services spend $84 million every year on Viagra for servicemen. That’s 10 times the highest possible amount that the Department of Defense would spend on trans health services.
These numbers validate what Beck tried to illustrate to BI when asked about transfolk being disruptive to their platoon. “A very professional unit with great leadership wouldn’t have a problem. I can have a Muslim serving right beside Jerry Falwell, and we’re not going to have a problem. It’s a leadership issue, not a transgender issue.”
What do you think about the President’s announcement today? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)