Trump administration reinstitutes gender based discrimination

Lilly Sample, Online Editor-in-Chief

Photo by Lilly Sample
President Donald Trump tweeted about the transgender military ban when it first went into place back in 2017. It was blocked, and then reinstated in late January with a 5-4 vote from the Supreme Court.

Being the highest employer of transgender individuals in America, the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a military ban on transgender people has been a huge blow to the community. After a proposed ban was blocked back in 2017, the Supreme Court has recently decided to allow Trump to move forth with his ban in a 5-4 vote. This is not necessarily permanent, however, and the Supreme Court is waiting for the case to make its way through the lower courts before a long-lasting ruling is made. Trump cites “tremendous medical costs and disruption in the military” as his reason for the ban, neither of which are based on facts.

The US Department of Defense estimates there could be up to 10,000 transgender individuals actively serving in the military. Only around 29-129 of those troops seek transition related care that could affect their deployment ability. Studies estimate that with military health insurance, these procedures cost the military between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, only 0.04 to 0.13 percent of their $6.2 billion healthcare budget.

In comparison, the military spends $84 million annually on erectile dysfunction medication, $41.6 million of that going towards Viagra alone. They also pay for things like vasectomies, tubal ligation and dental veneers, procedures whose price tags add up fast.

President Trump is not concerned about the cost and disruption of transgender service members because factually, there is no cost or disruption. This is active discrimination against the LGBT community, led by the president of the United States and his administration.

I think this culture centers itself around the military. You see things that are ‘military grade, military power’, everything is all about the military. ”

— Dawn Mohamed

“I think this culture centers itself around the military. You see things that are ‘military grade, military power’, everything is all about the military. The military is seen as the pinnacle of what any average person could do with their lives, serving their country. By barring a certain group of people from doing that, you’re basically saying that we don’t allow you in our way of life,” senior Dawn Mohamed explained.

By barring transgender individuals from the military, America is telling them they do not belong here. The military is a place for anyone, and it is seen as a secondary option to those not wanting to attend college for personal or financial choice. Picking and choosing groups that should and should not be allowed to serve is discrimination, regardless of military opinions.

“If less people are joining the military then that’s great, but I understand the bigger implications of this. It’s discrimination,” Mohamed said.

Thankfully, president Trump has been courteous and allowed for a loophole for those who are transgender and still wanting to serve a country that does not support them. Individuals who agree to serve as their assigned sex at birth and who have not undergone gender reassignment procedures may serve. Transgender people ultimately have to pick between living their lives as their true self, or joining the military.

Pressure needs to be placed on the lower courts to uphold the block placed on the transgender military ban, and support needs to be given to those pursuing legal action against the Trump administration on the basis of discrimination.