The Transgender Military ban that President Trump has proposed in the past year effects a little less than 1% of all individuals actively working in the military. It is difficult to find exactly how many transgender people are in the military, but various studies have estimated there are between 2,500 and 15,000 transgender individuals in the active duty military (Garcia). Currently, a small portion of the military is being negatively affected by the transgender military ban. In July 2017, President Trump proposed on twitter saying ‘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’ (Jouvenal).
The latest update to the ban states “transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances” (Lopez). This includes those who have already transitioned. Because the transgender military ban negatively effects many individuals in the military, we need to make the problem clear to the legislature by protesting in any way possible for them to turn down the ban.
This is an ongoing struggle for a large portion of the transgender community. They have updated the ban March 2018, so this became a problem fairly recently. They have still not been able to disallow the ban to continue effecting the transgender community. A transgender woman was a rising cadet in her senior year of high school. During her junior year, Riley Dosh came out as a transgender woman, and was later diagnosed with gender dysphoria by a doctor. That summer, the government announced that transgender individuals would be allowed to serve openly in the armed forces. But, the policy only applied to active duty members. So, Dosh would not be included because the policy include new recruits.
After her graduation, Dosh couldn’t become an officer in the armed forces. Riley Dosh is one of many in the Transgender community that has been denied the ability go into the armed forces because of being openly trans (Garcia). The Supreme Court on Monday January 21, 2019 ruled that the Pentagon may continue limiting transgender people from serving openly in the military, dealing with ongoing lawsuits in courts advocating for their continued right to do so. Before going into how to solve the problems, you have to know what causes the problem.
One of the main causes of this problem is just general transphobia and homophobia in society and just flat out discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community (Garcia). Transphobia is the fear or hatred of people who are transgender or whose gender expression doesn’t “conform” to traditional gender roles. Transphobia can take many different forms, but in this case, it is the prejudice against transgender people (Garcia). The other cause is stereotypes of the transgender community. For example, that all transgender people want gender reassignment.
Not all people with gender dysphoria want a complete gender reassignment. For example, some are satisfied with taking hormones alone. Some are satisfied with no medical or surgical treatment but prefer to dress as the felt gender in public. In this case, the ban prevents all transgender individuals from the military, largely because of bills for gender reassignment surgery and other procedures in the transition process. These root causes are a large part of why previous attempts at solutions have failed.