‘Dozens, if not hundreds’ of trans people have defied Donald Trump to sign up for the military
As many as hundreds of transgender people have signed up to join the US military, in direct defiance of President Donald Trump’s attempted ban.
Trump announced on Twitter last year that all trans servicepeople would be purged from the US armed forces, claiming they were a burden on the military.
The President tweeted: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.
“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
Two weeks later, advocates are saying that dozens, if not hundreds are rushing to join the thousands of trans people already serving their country.
That figure includes Bianca Wright, from Seattle, who has been waiting to re-join the military even since she left to transition following 14 years of service.
Wright, who served in Iraq, told Reuters that after Trump’s announcement – a decision which was reportedly made impulsively and ignorantly – all her plans “came crashing down.”
Nicholas Bade, 37, has wanted to join the military since he was a child, but only if he could be accepted for his true self.
“I just couldn’t face the idea of doing it as a traditional female,” said Bade, who applied at a Chicago Air Force office last week.
And he said that when it came to attitudes within the military towards trans people, the issue was simply moot.
“The people I know in the military have said: ‘I don’t care what your gender identity is, as long as you can do your job,’” Bade said.
The Trump administration is still trying to enforce its ban, but prospective trans servicepeople said that they were optimistic.
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“I‘m not worried,” said Logan Downs, a 23-year-old from Oregon, who is signing up to join the Air Force.
Nicolas Talbott, 24, from Ohio, was one of those to challenge Trump’s attempted ban in court.
He said: “We’re definitely not out of the woods yet, but we have so much momentum.”
Talbott planned to finish his Air Force National Guard enlistment paperwork this week.