WASHINGTON, DC – Wednesday, people across the country sounded off after President Donald Trump announced via Twitter, his plan to ban transgender people from serving in the military.
The move, which would undo a major accomplishment under the Obama administration, brought out protestors demonstrating outside of the White House in response to the tweets.
“He lied to our community to get our votes and then did a complete reversal on what he talked about.”, said transgender Army veteran, Tamika Spellman.
Spellman, who served during the Gulf War, said she feels betrayed by President Trump after his Twitter announcement, saying, “Regular women serve in the military in different capacities and what’s the difference in us serving?”
According to President Trump, the difference comes down to the cost of care and effectiveness, saying the military, “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
But, according to a Department of Defense study by Rand Corp, it was found that there would be a minimal impact on readiness and healthcare costs because so few transgender people serve in the military at an estimated 1,320 to 6,300 compared to 1.3 million.
“This is just another one of trump’s distraction tactics.”, said Lourdes Ashley Hunter, Executive Director of the Transgender Women of Color Collective and says people should focus on policies already in place.
“When Trump writes some legislation about banning folks in the military, then we should address that. Until then we should be focusing our energy on the problems that are happening right now to poor disenfranchised homeless, disabled folk, undocumented folk that are in place right now.”, said Hunter.
Following the President’s tweets, Senator John McCain lambasted Trump in a statement saying twitter is no place to announce policy changes.
As for Spellman, she wants to see Trump removed from office.
“He is not doing justice to this county, he is making a mockery of us. He is making a mockery of what we stand for.”, she said.
Many reports have also said that the Pentagon was taken totally by surprise by the President’s twitter announcement.
A statement by the Pentagon is referring all questions on the matter to the White House and says revised guidance on transgender people serving in the military will be provided.