July 26, 2017

The callous and cavalier actions by the Commander-in-Chief—desiring to ban active duty and prospective transgender troops from military service—are ignorant and un-American. As an Army brat whose Dad was a career Army and World War II combat veteran, I have a perspective that is undeniably PFLAG-true.

I am stirred, not shaken, by his July 26th tweeted announcement and its impact on the spouses and children of the more than 15,000 active-duty transgender servicemembers fighting each day to protect our freedom, who were dismissed and swatted at like flies by the President. 

While all military families know they could be targeted by agents of danger, never should that danger be from our own nation, let alone from the President of The United States, our Commander-in-Chief. 

Growing up, located anywhere on the globe that the military determined my Dad and his family needed to be, we followed orders without question. When I needed medical care repeatedly as a rambunctious military brat, my parents knew that I would get care because of the mutual commitment by my Dad to our country and it to him.

On Wednesday, that was called into question by three tweets from our President, and that is neither right nor representative of what the USA promises to those who put their lives on the line every day, including their family members.

There are more than 15,000 active duty transgender servicemembers right now, and I personally know thousands of them. We as PFLAGers must stay vigilant to ensure that their spouses and children go to sleep each night without nightmares, worrying over whether these families serving our country are welcomed to do so.

I also think about our transyouth who have dreams of serving our country in the military. All my life growing up, I wanted to follow in the boot-steps of my Dad and all of his brothers. I wanted to have a career in the military. But in the mid-’70s, it wasn’t possible as an open transman. However, today, it is possible, and it should be tomorrow, too. Let’s give our transgender young adults the full prospect of seizing what America grants today, and let’s not let this Administration strip that from them.

We deserve an inclusive, respectful America. Together we will maximize our efforts to make it true sooner, for all of our families, including those with transgender military servicemembers and their dependents.