In an effort to prevent President Trump’s trans military ban from going into effect, four states filed lawsuits: Maryland, District of Columbia, California, and Washington state. These lawsuits have prevented the ban from moving forward thus far, but on March 8, 2019 the final Lawsuit out of Maryland was dismissed. Although another appeal was made and there is still a window for its reversal, the likelihood that this ban will go into effect has never been so close to fruition.
Now, more than ever, we must stand in solidarity with each other. Show your support to trans service members you know.
As a transgender veteran who served in the US Navy for almost 6 years, it saddens me to think that I know trans-service-people who are being subjected to having to choose their identity over their career. I think so often civilians don’t look at military service as a career, but for some that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many service members who view it the same way someone who becomes a doctor, teacher, or artist view theirs. I personally cannot wrap my head around staying in the military under an administration that has done nothing but try to suppress and eradicate me; I don’t know if that makes me selfish, but I think those who continue to serve regardless of this fact have a worthy character that deserves to be acknowledged.
I remember being on deployment back in 2014, I was stationed on the USS Ross and we were deployed in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Often times the last thing I would do at night was read my print copies of FTM Magazine. It was the only sense of community I had at that point. No one even knew I was trans yet, and I was still living in the female berthing quarters on my ship. It was a really crazy time for me because I knew I was trans, and all of a sudden, I’m on this ship, in the middle of the ocean, intermittent email/internet access, and the one connection I had to my identity, was my magazines. I felt through them, the sense of community that awaited me when I returned.
I use my story as an example to show that, in these dark times, it is our responsibility as a community to rally around our trans service members. Let them feel our presence and support so they can understand, just like I did, that no matter the situation, my community is always there waiting for my return. Now, more than ever, we must stand in solidarity with each other. Show your support to trans service members you know, even if it’s only an internet buddy! Remind them that one, we are grateful for their sacrifice and two, that we love and support them with all of our being.