Since seeing President Trump’s tweet about no longer allowing transgender persons to serve in the U.S. armed forces, and then seeing the plethora of articles, comments and opinions on it, I can’t get it out of my mind.

When I first read the tweet, I didn’t have an overwhelming sense of acceptance or abhorrence, so I decided to find out what other people felt. Here are the most common arguments I have seen for or against (these opinions do not necessarily mirror mine):

FOR

  • Uncomfortable living quarters and shower situations need to be prevented.
  • Transgender surgery is expensive and the government should not have to pay for it.
  • Transgenders are mentally ill and unfit to serve.
  • Not everyone can serve in the military – there are physical health, age, legal status, criminal, and family considerations, etc. This isn’t any different.
  • The military is not a social experiment.
  • It is wrong to be transgender.

AGAINST

  • Every person should be able to serve in the military – this is discrimination.
  • Plenty of transgender individuals have served our country honorably.
  • President Trump is just doing this to distract us from real problems with Russia.
  • There should be equal rights for all LGBT people.
  • It shouldn’t matter who protects our country.

I don’t like to jump to conclusions about anything, but rather get input from all sides. I think many of the opinions of those for and against are valid (religious viewpoints are not one of them, in my opinion, though I am a very religious person).

I wonder if there is a way to compromise here.  Since we can’t read minds or hearts, we shouldn’t assume that this decision was made for corrupt reasons and without careful deliberation (though that is a possibility). If the U.S. generals and military experts really feel that it does more harm than good to have transgenders serve in the military, how can we alleviate some of this perceived harm so that ANYONE who fits the necessary qualifications and wishes to honorably, courageously, and patriotically serve our country, can do so?

Rather than this ban, why not:

  1. Require that all sex reassignment surgeries be paid for by the individual rather than the military.
  2. Do mental health screenings on every new applicant for the military. Anyone who isn’t mentally stable cannot serve. This way, we don’t make assumptions on the mental stability of transgenders. This seems to already be in the works.
  3. Add to the current military policies for sexual harassment, modesty, and privacy, if deemed necessary.

So far, there has only been a tweet, so there is time to modify this new policy. What are your thoughts on how to compromise?

Thank you for sharing!

4 thoughts on “About this ban…

  1. As a Veteran, I can attest to the already stringent standards of conduct regarding harassment and assault. Literally touching a person on the shoulder can be grounds for assault and harassment. Having a Playboy poster or similar photo hanging in your barracks can be sexual harrassment. As a survivor of military sexual trauma, I would not be comfortable showering with someone who has male genitalia, no matter how much they identify as a woman. Also, from what I understand, being/feeling transgender occurs before adulthood whether it is pursued or not. That, by definition constitutes a pre-existing medical condition and will therefore require a waiver which will also place the burden upon the person entering the military to prove that any pre-existing condition will neither require medical care nor be exacerbated by service. For many who say that it is not a medical condition, any need for physical or mental health care would prove the contrary. For the argument that not all transgender persons require medical intervention to change their physical characteristics, I would make the point that by forcing two persons of differing genitalia to sleep, shower, and use other gender-specific facilities together, we are infringing upon the rights of those who are not comfortable with that arrangement. We would be exposing our troops to increased risk/occurrence of sexual assault and harassment. The facilities do not currently exist to accommodate this type of integration during initial training, field training, or during deployment. It’s not about being transphobic (yes, I am sure those type of people exist), it’s about being fully prepared in order to protect the safety and morale of ALL troops. Also, if troops are required to prove that allergies, sinuses, a broken arm in the 9th grade, a history of depression, etc are no longer a medical issue and are not expected to be, we should require the same for someone who wishes to make changes to their body to fit their personal identity, or someone who has needed care to adjust to this difference of identity. Allowing them entry without question would be discrimination against those who must fill the requirement for all other issues. I believe in free will so long as you harm no other. I cannot empathize with someone who is transgender. I do, however, respect them and the struggle they must endure daily. I am sure many of them have fantastic qualities that would be a credit to the military, but mission requirements often restrict the availability of facilities needed to accommodate everyone. I believe the best solution would be to work towards having bathroom/shower facilities that reflect the family bathroom model only on a larger scale. Perhaps stalls that are genuinely private and personal changing areas. The facility will be available for anyone to use (male, female, transgender, shy, don’t like people, etc). Housing may be a bit more difficult to figure out but it’s a start.

    1. Thank you so much for providing your valuable input as a veteran. I think it really brings perspective and I agree with what you’re saying. Thank you so much for your service.

  2. Great Post,
    My First Thought they should serve put Gov should not pay for the medical transformation expenses.
    And I a agree with you on
    Do mental health screenings, and Adding to the current military policies for sexual harassment, modesty, and privacy, if deemed necessary.
    We All children of God and we should be treated equally individually.

    1. Yes, we are all children of God. And we need to find a way to work together for the betterment of everyone. Thank you so much. Love you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.