A friend made a good point yesterday, and here’s what he said on Facebook:
“Everyone is upset Trump blocked trans people from enlisting. I agree he did it as a political move to spite the LGBT and appease the right. Examples include:
- Any history of depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts.
- Any history of mood altering medication (including for ADHD)
- Any dietary allergy
- Any history of using a psychiatrist for more than six months
- Color blindness
- Pretty much any condition which requires regular medication.
The sad truth is that the psych requirements already ban most trans people, as well as a large portion of my feed who take any sort of medication. I agree Trump is doing this just to screw trans people, but in all honesty they were screwed before this anyway.” — Joe
And Joe isn’t wrong.. Being transgender is an alienating experience, and a dangerous one. The only statistic higher than our murder rate, is the number of trans people that enlist compared to cisgender individuals; we’re brave.
Stay brave friends, because this is only a speed bump, on a long road.
USA — Wednesday morning, “after consultation with [his] Generals and military experts”, President Donald J. Trump announced via Twitter that “transgender individuals” will no longer be accepted or allowed “to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” The ban comes after a discussion in the US Government about transgender medical costs and the inclusion of such costs in the Obama-era military budget.
Trump continues with the reasoning for the ban stating, “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”
However, a 2016 RAND study commissioned by the Pentagon itself contradicts the President’s reasoning, finding that the medical costs for transgender military members would be an “exceedingly small portion of active-component health care expenditures.”
By analyzing private health insurance data on gender transition-related expenditures, (such as hormone therapy or surgical treatment, for instance), researchers found that Military Health System costs could increase by $2.4 million and $8.4 million per year if it were extended to cover the costs of the estimated 1,320 to 6,630 transgender people in the military. This amount pales in comparison to the Department of Defense’s $49.3 billion health care expenditures in 2014, for example, and would represent between 0.005% to 0.017% of the department’s overall health care costs, according to the study.
Overall, the study estimated that only 29–129 service members would seek gender transition–related care per year, and 30 to 140 personnel would seek hormone therapy. Another 25 to 130 personnel would seek surgical treatment. — via Fortune.com
– Friday, in response to a traumatic and life-threatening incident that occurred Wednesday, trans woman of color organizer, speaker, and activist, Lourdes Ashley Hunter
, made a call-to-action
for those who stand in support of the transgender community, people of color, and anyone facing state repression by way of the now militarized police around the country. This rallying cry is resounding with the growing social awareness of police violence against the Black community, and louder still, in a year
that isn’t just the most deadly on record for the transgender community
, but one that saw the election of a President that many believe to be fuel to the flames of hatred, bigotry, white supremacy, and violence.
Lourdes posted this Friday afternoon:
“[Metropolitan Police Department] has NO RIGHT to drag me out my home because a white woman was offended by my Blackness
! I will be mobilizing if folks are interested in joining the team! Lawyers, organizers, folks with financial resources, cis folks who are ready to lay their body down for a Black Trans Woman
Late Wednesday night, 16 police officers illegally entered the home of Trans Women of Color Collective
activist and organizer, Lourdes
. Claiming an alleged report from a neighbor of assault by the known nonviolent activist. Without being read her Miranda Rights
, she was taken into custody
by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia’s 3rd Precinct.
Venus Di’Khadijah Selenite
, who was present for the incident, reported that 16 police officers detained the single trans woman of color. The activist, Lourdes, wasn’t returned home until close to 4am, Thursday, the same day of a #TransCommunityBriefing at The White House
including her and Venus
. As of 10:30pm, Friday night, no formal charges are being pursued by the activist against the Metropolitan Police Department.
Image Credit: Trans Women of Color Collective
UPDATE: 3:35am, Thursday, 17th; Lourdes Ashley Hunter was returned home safely. .bmp
– Late Wednesday night, 16 police officers illegally entered the home of black trans woman activist and organizer, Lourdes Ashley Hunter
. Claiming an alleged report of assault, the known nonviolent activist, without being read her Miranda Rights
, was taken into custody
by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia’s 3rd Precinct. Venus Di’Khadijah Selenite
, who was present for the incident, is as of 3 in the morning of Thursday, leading the action of individuals, calling the Precinct and others, for her release.
Trans women across Facebook, their friends, other transgender people, and their allies, are now doing what they can to ensure the safe return of Lourdes. The arrest comes the night prior to a Trans Community Briefing invitation to the White House
that included her, Venus
, and others. It is for this reason, that activists across the country are not only calling on the Police Department and Mayor Bowser
of the District of Columbia for Lourdes
safe return, but Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
, and the President of the United States himself, Barack Obama
To assist the action for the steadfast release of Lourdes Ashley Hunter, please call and leave a message with the following numbers:
- DC Police Department, 3rd Precinct: (202) 673-6815
- DC Police Department, Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit: (202) 727-5427
- DC Mayor Muriel Bowser: (202) 727-2643
- DC Congresswoman, Eleanor Norton: (202) 225-8050
Inlay Image Caption Credit: Ashleigh Shackelford