Campus community reacts to President Trump’s ban of transgender individuals from US military

President Donald Trump and Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command Commander, meet with service members at MacDill, AFB, FL, Feb. 6, 2017.   (DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen/Released)
Myles Cullen/Creative Commons
President Donald Trump and Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command Commander, meet with service members at MacDill, AFB, FL, Feb. 6, 2017. (DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen/Released)

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President Donald Trump announced in a series of tweets Wednesday morning that the United States will “not accept or allow” transgender individuals “to serve in any capacity” in the U.S. military.

Trump’s announcement is a reversal from a policy drafted by the Obama administration last year which would allow transgender people to openly serve in the U.S. military. The announcement also comes on the 69th anniversary of President Harry Truman’s signing of Executive Order 9981, which mandated the abolishment of racial discrimination in the United States Armed Forces.

Trump wrote in his tweets that the decision was made after “consultation” with generals and military experts. In a White House press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House and Department of Defense will work together to develop a legal implementation policy.

“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,” Trump wrote.

The campus Air Force ROTC program could not be reached for comment. The campus Army and Navy ROTC programs referred The Daily Californian to the Department of Defense and White House press offices, which could not be reached for comment.

ASUC Senator-elect Juniperangelica Cordova, who also identifies as a member of the transgender community, expressed in an email mixed reactions to the president’s announcement.

Cordova wrote that the transgender ban supports “an environment that not only permits, but promotes, targeted violence on marginalized communities,” adding that “transgender students continue to be seen as members of a community that anyone can launch targeted discrimination against, and like the POTUS, get away with it.”

She added, however, that her feelings were complicated because she did not believe “participation within the imperialist US military should be a method of fighting for transgender justice and liberation.”

“I expect the university and campus community to remain adamant that transgender people deserve the same, equitable protections all marginalized people deserve and need,” Cordova wrote in an email. “However, it is vital to remain conscious that the military has a history of perpetuating violence on Black and brown people abroad, and actively promoting participation within the military for trans and non-trans people walks a fine line of pro-imperialism. Transgender liberation will not be found within war.”

Alexander Wilfert, an ASUC Senator-elect and campus ROTC community advocate, stated in a Facebook message he was “extremely disappointed” in a decision that “is rooted in hate and fear,” and expressed concern for the potential impact on campus ROTC students “who work incredibly hard to prepare themselves for a lifetime of service.”

Gender Equity Resource Center Director Billy Curtis said while he was not sure of the exact impact Trump’s transgender ban would have upon the campus ROTC program, he was “saddened at the quite backwards announcement.”

“In 2017, to have our current president on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue saying he’s going to go forward with banning a class of individuals … is beyond sad. It’s sickening. It’s disgusting,” Curtis said. “We here on our campus continue to strive to be a more inclusive and welcoming place for all genders. In noticing this disgusting tweet, it’s a good time to remind folks we have a long way to go.”

Bobby Lee is an assistant news editor. Contact Bobby Lee at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @bobbylee_dc.

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  • lspanker

    During his campaign, Trump very explicitly said he was NOT going to make any effort to roll back the rights of LGBT people.

    There’s no “right” to be accepted into the armed forces.

  • C Bierbauer78

    Campus Republicans report to student health center with erections lasting more than four….seconds, in response to Trump’s latest Tweet!

    • lspanker

      The usual idiocy from the usual idiot.

  • Apollo_SOTC

    Giving a group of people who have a 35% suicide rate access to tanks, fighter jets and fully automatic rifles is a disaster waiting to happen. Ban the trans!

    • s randall

      Where are you getting the 35% suicide rate figure? Show us that you didn’t make it up.

      • Kurt VanderKoi

        The study was at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which followed 324 people after they’d had sex-reassignment surgery for up to 30 years. The study showed that about 10 years after the surgery, transgendered people began to have increased mental difficulties. As they progressed through life, their suicide mortality rose almost 20 times above the comparable nontransgender population. McHugh points to the data as evidence that the high suicide rate trumps the typical surgery prescription propagated by many as the answer to gender confusion.

        https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/tag/suicide-rate-of-post-surgery-transgenders/

        • s randall

          Interesting spin on that study. This is what your source has to say about itself:

          We are Conservatives in the undying tradition of America’s Founding Fathers, deeply concerned about the sorry state of our country and the ruinous path our government, political, and cultural elites have taken. That is why we have formed this fellowship of the minds despite our very different backgrounds, but sharing a deep love for God and country.

          https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/about/

          • ESPM360

            Would you prefer a study by Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA Law School?

            https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/AFSP-Williams-Suicide-Report-Final.pdf

          • s randall

            It’s because they are bullied.

          • ESPM360

            Family rejection and lack of support.

          • s randall

            Family rejection and lack of support.

            Sure. External issues, not internal issues.

          • ESPM360

            Good to know you no longer question the high suicide rate in transgender. A bullied trans is less likely to commit suicide if they have family support, etc versus one whose family has rejected them and has little or no support.

          • lspanker

            Ah, yes, the usual excuse, without any proof. That way they can claim the mantle of “victim” and be immune from any criticism.

        • janbn

          That is a ridiculous far right website. I would not believe anything I read there. When I read that they believe that the death of 22 children at Sandy Hook was a hoax, I have to know that the website is nothing but fake news – real sick fake news. Anyone who believes anything on that website has to be dumb as a fence post……in fact a fence post would be much smarter.

          • lspanker

            That is a ridiculous far right website.

            That;s your response when ever you don’t like what you read, correct?

    • ESPM360

      The combination of high suicide rates for military veterans and transgenders make the military a poor career choice for transgender people.

      • C Bierbauer78

        A poor choice for anybody with a moral compass or an IQ higher than 2 digits.

        • lspanker

          Lemme guess, you washed out of basic, right?

  • s randall

    He is pandering to his base. The good news is that he hasn’t started a war to deflect attention from his problems.

    • lspanker

      Can you present a logical argument as to why we need transgendered people in the military? I can think of plenty of reasons why we don’t, starting with the need for disruption of morale, the requirement for special facilities, not to mention the problem of providing mentally ill people access to guns and weapons. JUst because you lefty liberals think it would move us one step towards your utopian la-la land of “inclusion” does NOT mean it’s a good idea.

      • s randall

        We don’t *need* anyone. Certainly not you. The issue isn’t need, because we are not at war.

        Why do we need special facilities?

        If someone is mentally ill that would disqualify that person for military service.

        Have you served?

        • lspanker

          We don’t *need* anyone. Certainly not you. The issue isn’t need, because we are not at war.

          So you’re suggesting that the armed forces be used as some type of equal opportunity employment program?

          If someone is mentally ill that would disqualify that person for military service.

          Not knowing or accepting your gender of birth would certainly meet that qualification in the eyes of most people.

          Have you served?

          USAF 1982-1988, honorably discharged SSGT. How about you?

          • s randall

            So you’re suggesting that the armed forces be used as some type of equal opportunity employment program?

            Yes, why not?

            If someone is mentally ill that would disqualify that person for military service.

            Not knowing or accepting your gender of birth would certainly meet that qualification in the eyes of most people.

            Most people? Not John McCain and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

            http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2017/07/27/mccain-takes-trump-over-ban-transgender-people-military/513538001/

            http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-top-u-s-general-tells-military-leaders-1501171360-htmlstory.html

          • lspanker

            Yes, why not?

            Spoken like a left-wing fruit-loop, where everything has to be politicized to peddle your agenda. BTW, it’s quite telling that you never mentioned any personal military experience yourself , and makes it quite clear how much first-hand knowledge you really have in this area…

          • ESPM360

            It is ironic that many in Berkeley were burning their draft cards during the Vietnam War as a sign of protest. Now they are fighting to get in to the military.

          • C Bierbauer78

            BS, ESPM!

          • s randall

            I worked with someone with a security clearance, that lost it because they found out he was gay. That was about 30 years ago. He was one of the better people in the group too.

            I’m going to complain about the name calling, because it’s more a reflection of your miserable life than it is an accurate description of me. I’ve worked with people and had people that worked for me like you. Not for long, but I have.

          • lspanker

            I worked with someone with a security clearance, that lost it because they found out he was gay.

            We’re not talking about gays – personally, I had no problem with the concept of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.

            I’m going to complain about the name calling

            Waa-aah. Note how you have to change the discussion to avoid dealing with my point. Once again, if somebody can’t correctly identify their own gender, is that a person stable enough to be in the military?

          • s randall

            Once again, if somebody can’t correctly identify their own gender, is that a person stable enough to be in the military?

            Stability isn’t an issue. They let you in didn’t they?

          • thompson_richard

            again, you haven’t first-hand knowledge of the Daily Cal audience- of those applicants seeking admission this year — only 11 percent of those admitted are white men

          • lspanker

            What does that have to do with anything I posted here? Really now, you pull stuff at random and act like it’s somehow relevant.

          • thompson_richard

            My late friend E.G. Seidensticker served as a Shavetail (i.e., 2nd Lt. in the 5th Div., U.S. Marine Corps) in a foxhole at the Battle of Iwo Jima in WWII — from the first day to the last; he was an homosexual. And from 1962-68 there were three-quarters of a million casualties — 58,000 K.I.A. — among our ground troops in Vietnam alone. I once knew a cook who won the Navy Cross. Was it dangerous where you served?

          • lspanker

            My late friend E.G. Seidensticker served as a Shavetail (i.e., 2nd Lt. in the 5th Div., U.S. Marine Corps) in a foxhole at the Battle of Iwo Jima in WWII — from the first day to the last; he was an homosexual.

            And that has what to do with transgenders? We’re taking self-declared gender identities, not sexual preferences.

          • thompson_richard

            Ed dated Deanna Durbin for awhile, but his gender identity was always as a queer. He left the State department because of prejudice against homosexuals. You don’t just sign up to join the military and then get a $20,000 genital reassignment surgery. This is the Daily Cal, not military press. The man who said “Let’s roll!” and led the charge on the cockpit of the 9/11 jet that was to have crashed the White House was a Cal graduate — and one of the best queer rugby players ever.

          • lspanker

            Once again, you confuse sexual preference with gender identity. I didn’t say anything about the former, I was discussing the latter.

      • Dave Doleshal

        We’ve got a crazy person now in the Whitehouse with his finger on the Nuclear trigger, and you worry about Trans- people with access to guns?

        • ESPM360

          Complain to the Daily Californian who wrote the article.

      • thompson_richard

        The two leading causes for death in the black shoes army are 1) a motorcycle accident, and 2) a suicide.

    • Dave Doleshal

      That’s a possibility that should really worry us. He seems to be getting increasingly desperate, and that is just about the only thing he has not tried.