President Donald Trump has ordered a re-evaluation of Obama-era policies that allowed transgendered men and women to enlist or become officer candidates, with many inside the Pentagon saying that it is impractical to make wide-ranging accommodations to a comparatively small margin of people.
The Department of Defense estimates that roughly 7,000 transgender troops serve in the active duty force of approximately 1.3 million.
Some in the rank and file have responded with criticism of letting transgendered troops openly serve. “It’s just another thing in a list of experiments that the military wants to run in this politically correct day and age,” said one Marine, who asked to not be identified for privacy reasons.
Others disagree, however, and feel that it is another way for the service to peel back advances made for LBGTQ rights in the service.
Erika Butner, a former Marine and feminist activist, said that a repeal on allowing transgender people to serve in the military is an “easy out” for an administration that doesn’t wish to deal with hot topic issues.
“They’re using the argument of ‘it’s a psychological problem’ as an excuse to fit their homophobic agenda. These are the same people saying women can’t serve in the infantry because men can’t control their [women’s] hormones,” Butner said. “We live in a country where medical officers at Guantanamo Bay will consider gender therapy treatments for inmates, but our own men and women won’t be afforded that luxury?”