Trump Tweets on Transgender Troops Display Ignorance of Gender Identity

Jul 26, 2017

Statement from Lisa Kenney, Gender Spectrum Executive Director

Emeryville, CA- The national nonprofit Gender Spectrum released the following statement in response to President Trump’s tweets earlier today stating that Transgender troops would no longer be accepted or allowed to serve in the U.S. military:

Transgender troops effectively serve in our military and militaries around the world. The fear reflected in the President’s tweets reflects a lack of understanding of the transgender troops who have served, and are currently serving, our country. Excluding anyone who wants to serve our country based on gender identity is not only harmful to the individual, but also excludes an increasingly large number of people who we rely on to keep our country safe. President Trump’s tweets may be headline grabbing, but they do not make good policy.

A ban on transgender troops would potentially affect millions of Americans. A 2016 Minnesota Department of Education Student Survey found that, of the approximately 80,000 students participating in 9th and 11th grades, 2.5% of students consider themselves transgender or gender diverse. Clearly young people today understand, express and identify gender differently than previous generations. When the President tweets about a ban on transgender personnel, who is he including? Would such a ban be based on identity, expression, or both? Given that transgender people enlist to serve at twice the rate of the general population, such a ban would potentially exclude a sizable population.

For more background on Gender Spectrum and our work to promote gender inclusive environments for all children, teens, and families, see https://www.genderspectrum.org

 

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