Out Boulder County Statement Regarding President Trump’s Ban on Transgender Military Service Members’ Continued Service to Our Country
FOR OFFICIAL RELEASE: Statement from Out Boulder County Regarding President Trump’s Ban on Transgender Military Service Members’ Continued Service to Our Country
July 26th, 2017
This morning, President Trump announced a sweeping change in policy for our Armed Services, banning transgender personnel from serving in the United States military “in any capacity.” This decision ostensibly begins the process of discharging 7,000-15,000 highly trained, highly decorated service members who are currently strengthening the capabilities of military units across the globe in all branches of the military. The Commander-in-Chief characterized these courageous, selfless individuals as “burdens” rather than assets to the military, strengthened by experience, and entrusted with their fellow service members’ lives in the worst conditions imaginable.
In addition, rather than giving our trans service members the respect of an official memo or press release, President Trump has stripped those service members of the gratitude and honor the American people have always bestowed upon those who put their lives on the line for us through his Twitter account, and in doing so, plunges our armed forces into an era of mistrust, hiding, and being forced to lie in order to maintain access to healthcare, housing, a career path, and to continue defending American people at home and abroad.
We at Out Boulder County are saddened, angered, and dedicated to protecting our trans family, friends, partners, and co-workers who are targeted by this administration’s continued attacks to erode the public support of transgender people and civil rights of the LGBTQ community. We will continue to work tirelessly and resolutely for justice and equity for all.
If you would like to take action, please use this guide to call members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.
The following is a statement from Out Boulder County Board Member and transgender veteran, Cole Hart:
"As a transgender veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army, I am gravely concerned about many aspects of today's tweets from the commander in chief.
I'm worried about an uptick in harassment, violence and suicide for transgender service members, veterans, and civilians; and, as a transgender veteran myself, I'm worried what the administration will do with the trans-related healthcare I currently rely upon at Veteran's Affairs healthcare facilities.
The fact that this was released over Twitter rather than an official memo or statement from the Department of Defense combined with many of the President's words and actions both on the campaign trail and since taking office reveal a deep, nonchalant disrespect for the culture and community of our armed forces, of which the LGBTQ community is an integral part.
Statements like these, which use the word "burden" to refer to proper treatment of medical issues as defined by the AMA and APA reduce the worth of my service to this country, my character, to a dollar amount.
Think about that.
In the current administration's depiction, I and people like me aren't courageous, selfless individuals. We're painted as surgery-grubbing burdensome weaklings - not the highly-trained, highly-decorated assets to our country's armed forces that, in reality, we are.
We, who have fought and served and died for centuries to provide safety and security and the space to try for a more just and equitable existence for our people.
It is difficult to express the level of outrage and concern today's events have inspired in me. I intend to use that outrage and concern to continue fighting for safety, security, freedom and justice for all - especially the marginalized - in our country."