Normally, I write my Medium articles in Microsoft Word, spend several days researching for them and finding supplementary materials to make sure I’m 100% factually correct, and then let it sit for a day or two before I read it over to make sure it’s ready to publish. I’m not doing that today. I’m writing directly onto the Draft page and I’m pressing “publish” as soon as I’m done.
I am very angry. President Trump is banning transgender individuals from serving in the military (which he announced via TWITTER, but that’s a different article). This is angering on its own for obvious reasons, reasons that have been pointed out by activists, politicians, and ordinary citizens. But what angers me more, and what people aren’t talking about, is that this is exemplary of the current opposition to LGBTQ+ rights.
The reasoning President Trump provided is that it will cost the military a fortune in medical expenses. This statement has already been debunked by several organizations and media outlets, the most widely publicized being the 2016 RAND Corporation study that found that providing medical coverage for transgender troops would amount to a spending increase of 22 cents per service member per month.
Why is this the reason President Trump gave, when it is so obviously invalid? It’s because everyone knows that they should be fighting for equality. The far right don’t believe LGBTQ+ individuals deserve rights, but they know that saying that will show that they are fighting for inequality. They can’t say they want to ban transgender service members because it makes them uncomfortable, or because trans people are unnatural and have something wrong with them, or because they don’t deserve equality. Even in the 1950s, people were saying “separate but equal.” No one was fighting for “separate because they’re unequal.” Everyone recognizes that equality is a good thing that we should be striving for! So the people who don’t want equality, much like white lawmakers in the 1950s, come up with loopholes and ridiculous reasons to back up their archaic views, just like the one Trump provided this morning.
The far right wants to make it sound like they are fighting for equality, even more than the left! All lives matter, right? A tweet Donald Trump posted in June 2016 reads, “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.” Actively fighting to suppress a group of people is a thing of the past, at least in the mainstream. The rhetoric of equality is something that more and more people are latching onto. So to preserve their facade, the far right come up with ridiculous reasoning to back up their ancient values that even they know are rapidly becoming more radical. I’m actively anticipating Trump’s follow-up tweet: “Everyone knows I’m a huge supporter of the transgender community. The Fake News Media is painting me to be a villain. Sad!”
My point is, even the far right know that banning transgender individuals from performing military service is pushing towards inequality, but they know that fighting for inequality is wrong. So they come up with some excuse while continuing to argue that they are fighting for equality for all. And this is angering beyond belief. Instead of choosing to do what’s right, instead of actually fighting for equality, they choose to lie. They choose to make excuses for their stubborn and unfounded beliefs. This is the opposite of progress. This is the opposite of the principles America was founded on.