In a series of tweets on Wednesday, July 26, President Donald Trump announced that transgender people will no longer be able to serve in the U.S. military "in any capacity." This announcement — via social media, no less — is a major step back for equality, especially considering there are thousands of brave transgender individuals already serving our country. Here, let's talk about how you can help trans people serving in the military.
First, a refresher on exactly what Trump tweeted to announce his decision.
It's a far cry from his initial stance on the campaign trail back in June 2016 when Trump tweeted he would "fight for" the LGBTQ+ community.
The worst part is, it has only been a year since the Obama administration lifted the initial ban against transgender people serving in June 2016. Then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in his starkly different announcement that "We don't want barriers unrelated to a person's qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who can best accomplish the mission."
The National Center for Transgender Equality estimates that there are more than 15,000 transgender soldiers already serving. So, how can you help now that President Trump is once again stripping them of their right to serve?
You can speak out publicly against the ban.
Tweet back at the president. Express your solidarity with the community. Whether you're trans or not, we have to stick together.
You can call your representatives in Congress.
Hopefully they're on speed dial at this point. Give them a call and let them know that you don't agree with President Trump's decision. Tell them why. Tell them transgender people deserve more from their country.
You can donate to organizations that advocate for trans rights.
In addition to the National Center for Transgender Equality, GLAAD has an incredible list of organizations to consider supporting.
These are just a few things that will make a small difference. But most importantly, under an administration that lacks it entirely, it's important to show compassion.
We love and salute you, brave soldiers!