Imagine you just turned 18 and you’ve been wanting your whole life to join the military and fight for your country. How would you feel if you were suddenly unable to enlist, purely because you also happened to be transgender? That’s exactly what happened when President Trump tweeted that “the United States Government will not accept or allow ... Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” He claims that Transgender people are a burden on the military. However, I still insist that President Trump is wrong to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military.
Discrimination means treating someone as part of whole instead of a person. So when President Trump banned all transgender people from joining the military he also refuses to recognize those people as individuals. America was founded on the principles of freedom and equality. So it’s troubling when our president starts to move away from those ideas and ban transgender people from the military. Left unchecked these decisions will lead to unequal rights for transgender people. Which will in turn pave the way for unjustified and unconstitutional decisions by Trump.
Some might object that there is a good reason transgender troops aren’t being allowed in the military. They would say how Trump did it because transgenders are a burden to the military due to the large medical costs they rack up or the detriment to combat readiness they represent. However, according to a government supported study by the RAND corporation, a private research company, it is estimated that only “10 to 130 active component members each year could have reduced deployability as a result of gender transition-related treatments.” This is a insubstantial number considering the 50,000 active component soldiers who are currently non-deployable. The same study by the RAND corporation concluded that health care costs related to transition surgeries and testosterone treatment would estimate “between $2.4 million and $8.4 million.” which is only “an approximate 0.13-percent increase.” Meaning that money could not possibly be a significant factor in the decision to ban all transgender people from the military. It’s clear as day that there is no significant effect on combat readiness or health care costs in having transgender people serve in the military.
Transgender people should be able to serve in every aspect of the military. Not only because it is the morally right decision, but also because it would have no significant effect on the health care costs nor the combat readiness of the military. Think about these reasons and ask yourself, do you truly want to deny all transgender people the equal opportunity to join the military?