Early Wednesday morning President Trump tweeted transgender people "cannot serve in any capacity in the US military," arguing it will disrupt military ranks and add medical expenses that could pose a threat to military victory.
Perhaps it may be my outspoken millennial opinion fueling my complete disagreement with this proposed action by President Trump, or perhaps it is that America prides itself on being the home of the free and the brave and this is most certainly not in accordance with our country's core values. Regardless of the origin of my opposing opinion, the outright exclusion of a rather largely growing population in the United States from their right to serve their country is not what America stands for.
When we sing our national anthem, we feel an overwhelming sense of pride when we sing the words "for the land of the free and the home of the brave." But this proposed action of preventing transgender individuals from serving in the military is a slap in the face to the LGBTQ community. The "free" and the "brave" are a complete representation of transgender individuals who feel empowered enough to go through their chosen transition and furthermore, have the desire to fight for their country.
If expenses are truly a concern when people are transitioning while active duty, then create a law in which an individual must have completed their transition prior to enlisting. I can understand the thought of disruption due to cost, but then create a policy to prevent that problem, but do not exclude a vital population of US citizens from actively participating in being a part of their country. We should feel honored that they feel compelled to serve for the country that allowed them their freedom to be themselves!
These phenomenal, free and brave individuals are human beings that are no different from you or me. They are just as much of a deserving, loved and important part of this country and we have no right to make them feel otherwise. Exclusion is never the answer & in America, we don't exclude, we take pride in diversity. The military's primary function is to protect our country, but it is also a representation of the citizens this country is built off of. So, allow America to be represented by every diverse and amazing citizen of this country and allow us to be an example of what inclusion and acceptance really looks like.