Bigotry in Action: U.S. Naval Academy Banning Transgender Students in Fall 2020
Terrible news continues due to the Trump Administration with CBS reporting that, come Fall of 2020, the U.S. Naval Academy will ban transgender students.
The Defense Department had confirmed the policy change to the Capital Gazette newspaper. The school in Annapolis, Maryland, does currently accept transgender students and retains midshipmen who transition to another gender, but the new policy applies to students enrolled in the 2020-21 school year and beyond. This action undoes the Obama administration’s 2016 decision to lift restrictions on transgender service members, which allowed them to serve openly and covered gender affirmation surgery.
What we are sadly seeing is the continued ramifications of Trump’s ban on transgender troops, which came into effect this month. It returns our country to the Dark Ages idea that the men and women who choose to serve us cannot do so if they are openly transgender and “blocks all use of DoD or DHS resources to fund sex reassignment surgical procedures.”
The Defense Department says that people can serve if they remain their biological sex and estimates that nearly 15,000 troops identify as transgender and could potentially be impacted by the policy. The Supreme Court ruled the military could enforce its policy on transgender service members.
Since the ban was put into motion from a tweet, people have been bringing up how the cost of sex reassignment procedures is very low in comparison to the total military spending on, for example, erectile dysfunction medicines, which amounts to $84 million annually, along with all the other things military spending gets put toward. This ban comes out of cruelty, not efficiency, and the absurd idea that trans people would join the military to get sex reassignment surgery when there are easier and much less stigmatizing jobs a person could take to get appropriate health care.
Would we be asking this question of applicants who join in order to get an education, general health care, or any of the other benefits we should give service members? It’s a bad-faith position that is both bigoted and short-sighted. We do not live in a country with a draft, and we live in a post-Vietnam era where general opinions about service are different than the generations before us.
There are people who believe in giving their lives to protect our country, and we should not be stigmatizing them. It wasn’t long ago that the common wisdom was that having women soldiers, openly LGB soldiers, and men of color in the military would be “distracting” and bad for morale. There is nothing good that will come from this, and for someone with no mortality, like Donald Trump, this ban only plays to the part of his base on the radical religious right that we all know he doesn’t even belong to.
I’m saddened by this, and we should remember when 2020 comes that this is what happens when you think that elections don’t matter and “who cares who’s on the Supreme Court?” Literally, every marginalized group ever has had a major case go to the Supreme Court.
(via CBS News, image: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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