Despite vowing to protect LGBTQ Americans after the Orlando Pulse night club shooting in 2016, President Trump has backed policies that do the opposite. On Wednesday, Trump banned transgender Americans from serving in the military, citing "tremendous medical costs and disruption" that they supposedly bring to the armed forces.
According to Politico, the ban allegedly stemmed from a Capitol Hill argument over whether taxpayers should pay for gender reassignment surgeries for military members. Congress was supposed to vote on a $790 billion defense and security spending package, but it was held up over fighting over funding for the surgeries and hormone therapy. The package reportedly included funding to build the wall along the Mexican border that Trump has long promised. Politico cited several White House and congressional sources that said that the ban on transgender service was a shot to save the bill and allow passage.
Although Trump tweeted that he consulted with his "Generals and military experts," a concrete plan about how to implement the ban has not been released. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters during a Wednesday press briefing that the White House and Defense Department will be working together on a strategy, according to Business Insider.
In the wake of the news, there are plenty of messages to share on social media in solidarity with trans Americans who may feel attacked and unwanted by their country.
1. Your Lives, Safety, And Service Matter
My fellow trans Americans despite what some may say your existence is valuable. Your lives, safety, & service matter. #TransIsBeautiful— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) July 26, 2017
Laverne Cox spread the love using #TransIsBeautiful.
2. Not A Burden
Show support for fellow human rights with the trans flag.
3. Trans Rights Are Human Rights
Rita Ora encouraged others to protect trans troops.
4. Protect Trans Rights
The colors pink and blue correspond to the trans flag.
5. Salute To Service Members
According to ABC News, a 2016 Rand Study estimated that between 1,320 and 6,630 of 1.3 million active-duty service members may be trans.
6. Trump's Own Military Draft Deferments
The sitting president received five draft deferments.
7. It Should't Matter Who They Are
Many have decried denying trans Americans the right to protect their country.
8. Everybody Is Human
#TransRightsAreHumanRights— Suus (@dorkyIester) July 27, 2017
Girl = Human
Boy = Human
Non binary = Human
Transgender = Human
Everybody is human no matter who they are.
No matter who they are, they should have the same rights.
9. The Trans Flag
Spread the message of equality for all.
10. You Are Loved
A call to protect trans kids has been sent out.
11. Discrimination Holds Everyone Back
We are indebted to all who serve. Discrimination against anyone holds everyone back. #LetThemServe— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) July 26, 2017
As Tim Cook tweeted, "We are indebted to all who serve."
12. I Need To Confirm Your Gender, Said No One
An argument to let them serve.
13. Goes Against Our Values
Our military fights to protect American values.
14. Every American Respected And Protected
Regardless of their gender identify, those who serve deserve our respect.
15. American Rights = LGBTQ Rights
It's on Americans to protect trans troops.
16. On The Right Side Of History
This argument for the transgender ban sounds a lot like to the one they used against women, too.
17. "I Will Proudly Fight For You"
Once more for those in the back: Transgender rights are human rights.
Trump is not actually imposing a new ban on transgender individual's service in the military, but rather reinstating a rule that was overturned by his predecessor, President Obama. In 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the initiative to allow trans Americans to openly serve in the military. On June 30, trans people were welcomed to enlist and by Oct. 1, trans individuals were able to receive medical benefits and change their gender identification in the Pentagon's system.
Now, the military will work out a plan to handle moving forward.