Mute Button Off: Trans Military Ban

Let me be clear: The decision to no longer accept transgender recruits and the declaration that current transgender military service members will no longer be allowed to serve is despicable.

While I am sympathetic to the opinion that transgender liberation cannot be won through militaristic activity and membership, I also firmly believe that the restricting access to a large employment sector for reasons of gender, race, sex, orientation, ethnicity, and other protected groups definitively sets the the standard that people in these groups are secondary and less worthy of opportunity. Certainly it seems that the current administration would like members of these groups to also feel less worthy of protection, now from individual to international levels.

We don't touch on politics a lot here at Chicagoland Doulas, but as the owner of this agency, I must speak up. I come from a military family and have had any number of ranging stances regarding the people who make decisions about U.S. Armed Forces missions and also the people who are obliged to carry out those decisions. The military is a hot button issue in my family, and I have serious heart strings attached. My only brother was an active infantry soldier who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In my opinion, the costs he has paid and continues to pay make justifying military involvement a tall order. I think that supporting our troops means holding a high standard for using them.

Even with all my opinions and criticisms, I know what it means to see the military as a viable and responsible employer who could open up so many training opportunities and jump start upward mobility. This is not a theoretical pondering, it is what I've seen my entire life. Folding yourself into a structure that could turn into one of the only life-long careers that exist anymore - by committing yourself fully - can turn things around for a low-income person. Being transgender should not exclude anyone from that opportunity.

Let's be clear about another thing. The healthcare costs and “disruption” transgender people are accused of in Trump's tweets is not only minimal, it is not a thing. It is an excuse to place one group of people who are making a major sacrifice below everyone else. Just as we understand that this administration wants pregnant people, women, transgender people, and virtually as many people as possible to be excluded from affordable healthcare, we also understand that this is yet another way to divide us as a nation and distract us from holding our president to a reasonable standard.

All opinions in this post are a reflection of Anne Iverson. We encourage our doulas and people everywhere to have their own minds and uphold basic rights for people of all types.

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