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STATEMENT OPPOSING THE TRANSGENDER MILITARY BAN

Mon, January 28, 2019
STATEMENT OPPOSING THE TRANSGENDER MILITARY BAN
Akira Wyatt 2017 Courtesy of Akira Wyatt

STATEMENT REGARDING THE TRANSGENDER MILITARY BAN

 

On January 22, 2019, Supreme Court announced that it will allow President Donald Trump’s ban on military service by transgender people to go into effect. This is the only policy that excludes people from military service based on membership in a class, rather than fitness to serve.

 

The LGBTQ Studies Program stands with our students, staff, and faculty and against this ban on full citizenship for transgender people. Military service remains a powerful symbol of belonging, a path to leadership, and an economic necessity for many. For those reasons, it must be available to everyone who wishes to serve. We recognize that the U.S. military can be a dangerous place for LGBTQ people, especially people of color all over the world, and that U.S. imperialism abroad and at home upholds structures of social, cultural, gender and sexual inequality. Our faculty know this well, and have committed to theorizing, critiquing and documenting these oppressive structures. We know that President Trump’s assertion that transgender service members pose a “burden” to the military is an echo of earlier arguments against the presence of Native Americans, Latinos, African Americans, women, and gays and lesbians in the services. We also know that access to the military on the basis of inclusion is not by itself a queer strategy for ending oppression.

 

We are committed to supporting our transgender students, both those who serve in the military and those who are harmed by imperialism, and acknowledge that these positions are not separate. It is, we believe, at the intersection of legal inclusion and moral resistance that the most fruitful spaces of support, justice, and community become available. LGBTQ Studies remains an intellectual space from within which to think critically about the role of militarism in the lives of all people and at the same time a source of support for the many transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people who struggle with this question in particular.

 

The LGBTQ Studies Program will continue to offer our expertise to policymakers and our support to all of us affected by this decision.

 

Lisa Moore, LGBTQ Studies Program Director

Grayson Hunt, LGBTQ Studies Program Coordinator

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