With every bigoted, backward and tragic move Trump makes, the silver lining is that the powerful reactions to his actions help to restore some faith in the future of humanity.
Just when we thought he couldn’t shock us any further with his erratic, small-mindedness, U.S. President Donald Trump Tweeted yesterday that
“transgender individuals” should not be allowed to serve in “any capacity” in the U.S. military.
Of course, transgender military members have been able to serve openly since last year. Naturally, the move has sparked outrage that continues to grow.
Here are some of the powerful responses to Trump’s transgender ban:
Canada Embraces Transgender Troops:
While Trump was busy pushing his new policy, Canada was vocal in our promotion of diversity in the military and our initiatives to recruit more gay, lesbian and trans troops to the ranks. Not long after Trump’s Tweet, the Canadian Armed Forces took to Twitter to highlight its very different approach to recruitment. “We welcome Cdns of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Join us!” reads the tweet. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s spokesperson Jordan Owens said that the government is building a defence team that “reflects Canadian ideals of diversity, respect and inclusion.”
— Canadian Forces (@CanadianForces) July 26, 2017
Navy SEAL Hero Kristen Beck Challenges Trump:
Kristen Beck, a transgender Navy SEAL hero had a strong proposition for Trump: “Let’s meet face to face and you tell me I’m not worthy,’ the 20-year Navy SEALS veteran told Business Insider yesterday. “Transgender doesn’t matter. Do your service.” She said that Trump’s quick policy change would negatively affect many who are currently serving in the military or hoping to in the future. Born Christopher Beck, the Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient was deployed 13 times – including stints in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan – over her 20 years in the Navy SEAL. Of course, she wasn’t the only vocal one. Perhaps most notably, U.S. Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning took to twitter to call the move, “cowardice.”
MEET ME & tell me I’m not WORTHY to my face. pic.twitter.com/eqAHTysfma
— Chief Beck (@valor4us) July 26, 2017
The Late Night Hosts Take on Trump:
Naturally, the late night talk show hosts didn’t hold back on their distaste for their president. “I began my day today as I often begin my days, by checking Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, to see how far the crazy has spread,” said Stephen Colbert in his opening monologue on The Late Show. “And today I really think he’s off his meds. Because today he went from crazy to cruel.” He pointed to a Trump tweet from last June that read: “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten our freedoms and beliefs.” “What the hell does he think the ‘T’ in LGBT stands for?” asked Colbert. Both he and Trevor Noah, the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show questioned Trump’s use of “thank you” in his Tweet. “Thank you?” Noah asked. “Wow, no one takes away civil rights as politely as Donald Trump.”
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) July 27, 2017
The Protestors Waste No Time:
Dropping their plans for the day, it didn’t take long for hundreds of demonstrators to flock to the U.S. Armed Forces recruiting station in Times Square, armed with signs that said things like “Resist” and “Rise Up.” Megaphone-yielding speakers who denounced the ban loud and clear motivated them with powerful messages. Not surprisingly, protestors also took to Washington. Later, in San Francisco, others gathered at a plaza named after gay rights icon Harvey Milk. It’s safe to say that such protests are only going to grow in scope and size – including here in Canada as we unite in support.
At a time when children are being raised genderless, gender-neutral bathrooms are a reality and health cards are produced without gender markers, it makes zero sense to force transgender individuals back into the closet – both in life and in the military.