Traverse City Veterans, LGBTQ Community Discuss President’s Reinstatement of Transgender Military Ban

After President Trump’s tweet about reinstating a ban on transgender people in the military, it’s not clear what will happen to transgender people already in active service.

The decision has garnered strong reactions from across the country and here in northern Michigan.

9&10’s Megan Woods talked to locals about the announcement.

“This is obviously a step in a different direction and it’s something now the military is going to adjust to.”

With the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy lifted in 2011, the military and LGBTQ community turned a corner.

Retired American Diplomat and veteran Jack Segal says, “It’s been something I think the military has struggled with at times, but our military is different and has changed a lot since I served so many years ago. We now have a much more technology advanced military we have a lot of people doing jobs where we’re really looking at what they can intellectually contribute.”

Segal says medical costs for transgender people in the military may be the main reason for the president’s decision.

“Back in July Secretary of Defense (James) Mattis made a decision to conduct a review of the earlier decision to allow transgender people to serve in the military openly and the review apparently triggered some further decision making in the White House.”

With the number of transgender people serving just various estimates there’s no telling who could be impacted.

Founder and president of Up North Pride Jenn Cameron says, “How do you even determine who is transgender. This is about very personal physical anatomy as well as how we choose to personally express ourselves.”

Even for those in the LGBTQ community not serving in the military like Cameron, this decision hurts.

“It’s about personal integrity it is about the strength of a person to be honest and to put their lives on the line for us so when we say okay come in and serve but lie about who you are that’s at odds.”

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