PROULX: Trump wrong on trans soldiers
Protesters in Washington react to U.S. President Donald Trump's edict on the transgender soldiers, sailors, air personnel and marines. GETTY
SHAUN PROULX/ 24 HOURS
American transgender people have no value and are unwanted. At least as far the U.S. military is concerned, according to President Donald Trump, who is under heavy fire after announcing Wednesday in a series of tweets he would not "accept or allow" transgender military members serving "in any capacity."
Should he follow through with this direct attack on transgender Americans, it would reverse the policy change made by former President Barack Obama; last June, a ban on transgender troops was lifted.
President Trump cites the "tremendous medical costs" and "disruption that transgender in the military would entail," but once more it looks like he's simply pulling facts out of his presumably orange behind.
His fears about cost and disruption have zero basis. A mere 250 transgender service members are in the process of transitioning right now, or have been approved to transition to their preferred genders - that's all, folks (Trump has not mentioned what would become of them with his ban).
The monetary costs when a service member transitions are considered low. A RAND Corp study conducted only last year concluded that the expenses are negligible - on a continuing annual basis - in allowing transgender people to openly serve. RAND estimated 29 to 129 active members would typically seek care; 1,320 to 6,630 transgender personnel are now in the active component of the military.
One can't help but feel President Trump is simply scoring cheap points here. I wonder what minority group America's 'leader'will attack next when more points are required.
But at what societal cost? Never mind Trump's baseless fears about the "tremendous medical costs" of transgender people in the U.S. military - what message has the President of the United States now sent to every young person who feels conflicted about the body they are in? How has this shaped the ideas and understanding of the parents and family and community that surrounds that young person, who will one day need their understanding and love and support? And what is the signal President Trump sends to those thinking about joining the very military service of the country he leads? As of this writing though, the official Department of Defense policy on transgender service members remains unchanged online. And those feeling ire can perhaps take heart over this one thing: follow-through on President Trump's tweeted plans is not his forte.
After all, a 2016 campaign tweet from the then-2016 Republican presidential candidate him vow he would "fight" for the LGBTQ community. More fake news. MEANWHILE, Canada didn't waste any time punctuating once again that we are truly the land of the brave and free in the midst of another U.S. malfunction. The Canadian Armed Forces tweeted an invite to all individuals to join the military: "We welcome Cdns of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Join us!"
The Shaun Proulx Show airs on SiriusXM Canada Talks channel 167. He is the publisher of TheGayGuide Network.com and leads a #ThoughtRevolution about busting through personal limits on ShaunProulx.com.