Celebrities, LGBTQ activists, and allies alike did not stay silent on social media Wednesday morning. And that includes writer Janet Mock, who denounced President Trump's ban of transgender individuals from the military in a series of tweets shortly after it was announced. The Redefining Realness author posted a thread not only explaining that Trump is disregarding the sacrifice transgender soldiers have made while serving in the military, but also criticizing the president for, what she says, is using the transgender community as "scapegoats."
Mock tweeted, "shameful that trans folk are being used as scapegoats in another non-issue (military bathrooms, etc) to distract from your shortcomings."
On Wednesday, July 26, President Trump tweeted, "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you." According to the Human Rights Campaign, Trump's transgender ban would affect 15,000 actively serving trans troops. Some critics of Trump's ban believe that he is actually using the transgender community as political pawns.
A political reporter for Axios, Jonathan Swan, shared what a Trump administration official reportedly told him about the ban, and it could explain the reasoning behind Mock's use of the word "scapegoats":
"This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin to take complete ownership of this issue. How will the blue collar voters in these states respond when senators up for re-election in 2018 like Debbie Stabenow are forced to make their opposition to this a key plank of their campaigns?"
Bustle reached out to representatives for Trump regarding this report, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
From marriage equality to trans representation, Mock has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community. As a transgender woman, the 34-year-old has also been unapologetically transparent about her own journey. In light of Trump's discriminatory policy against the transgender community, Mock chose to explain that transgender soldiers are neither a burden nor a disruption. To Mock, a soldier's desire to serve regardless of their gender identity should take precedence over a close-minded individual's comfort.
Mock also saluted Sgt. Shane Ortega, a trans member of the military who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, as a prime example of American military excellence.
For Ortega and thousands of other transgender service members, the ban isn't just an insult to their personhood, it also burdens and distracts them from upholding the oath they took to protect the United States. As Mock explained, transgender soldiers are patriots, not the ones to be blamed for other people's ignorance.