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Ripple Effect of Trump Transgender Ban Reaches Families

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A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows 58 percent of Americans support transgender Americans serving in the military. (USDOD).
A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll shows 58 percent of Americans support transgender Americans serving in the military. (USDOD).
August 1, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. – The Commander-in-Chief announced his ban on transgender Americans from serving in the military via Twitter and local advocates say those tweets impact more than just members of the military. In the series of early morning tweets, Trump declared transgender troops would no longer be allowed to serve in any capacity.

Gerri Cannon, a transgender advocate with Freedom New Hampshire, says that move is more than just a waste of well-trained service members who are proud to serve, but it also sends a negative message to transgender children and their families. Cannon says the ripple effect of Trump's tweets is already staggering.

"We have so many people that are upset, including families with transgender children, who want to teach their kids that they can be anything they want to be," Cannon says. "And we're being told by the President of the United States, 'No.'"

Trump tweeted the U.S. military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail." A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday shows 58 percent of Americans support transgender Americans serving in the military.

Cannon says the president's cost estimates are way out of line. She says transgender troops make up a small percentage of the military, and an even smaller percentage might eventually elect gender surgery.

"Transgender people may be on hormones and in active service, but the thought that a transgender person is going to join up just to undergo gender surgery is ludicrous," she adds.

Cannon was pleased that the initial response from the Pentagon was that Trump's tweets are not official orders and that - at present - no changes are being made.

"To see the senior staff of our military stand-up for our transgender people is such a positive statement; they know they've got quality people," says Cannon.

Cannon noted that at a time when our military is looking for volunteers, transgender Americans are proud and ready to serve.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH