Transgender in the US Military

Transgender in the US Military
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Transgender in the US Military
Following the occupation of office by Donald Trump, thousands of transgender
people who serve in American armed forces face an uncertain future. With a series of tweets,
the president has threatened to ban the service of transgender individuals in the American
military forces (Phillips, 2017). The move would reverse the transgender right's victory that
was achieved during Obama's tenure after a policy was implemented to allow them to serve
openly. Trump's move has received mixed reactions from different groups among them the
Republicans, conservative activists and rights groups (Phillips, 2017). This paper will discuss
the stand of different people concerning the exclusion of transgender individuals from the US
armed forces and their reasons.
Reasons for the Ban
According to Trump, the inclusion of transgender individuals in the US military would
increase military expenditure (Schaefer et al., 2016). It will also disrupt the military service
from serving decisively and achieving overwhelming victory. Trump, however, has not
spelled out how the ban would be implemented even if it is set to take effect as from March
The White House formally stated the new policy that required the transgender who
are already serving in the military to conceal their identity as it was before 2016 (Phillips,
2017). Furthermore, the funding of gender-affirming surgeries would be withdrawn except in
the cases of health protection to those who have already begun their transition.
In support, it was stated that Transgender persons often suffered from emotional
distress arising from the conflict between their gender identity and their assigned gender.
Such state of mind would disrupt their readiness in relation to military operations. It would
also cost too much money to treat such conditions (Phillips, 2017).
Reasons against the Ban
Trump’s new policy has faced stiff opposition from different groups due to its expected ugly
consequences (Schaefer et al., 2016). It would lead to the discharge or abuse of Trans troops
a signal that would imply that transgender people not accepted or tolerated in the society. It
would also put the lives of people already serving in the US armed forces in danger by
forcing them to conceal their gender identity even when it threatens their service, health, and
safety altogether (Phillips, 2017).
Transgender people should be allowed to continue serving in the military because the
claim of extra expenditure is baseless. According to other countries such as Canada and the
United Kingdom where transgender individuals are allowed to serve openly, they pose no
additional cost to the budget and do not affect the readiness of troops in any way (Schaefer et
al., 2016).
Moreover, military service relies on trust and cooperation among troop members since
they protect each other’s life (Schaefer et al., 2016). The ban on transgender persons from the
military would cause the division of the troops. Armed forces operate in an environment
where they should be mindful of the welfare of their colleagues. Depriving Transgender
servicemen of freedom to serve openly would weaken their bond with other soldiers and even
affect the unity of the military troops (Phillips, 2017).
The Palm Centre also opposed the ban based on the grounds that it is a form of
discrimination against transgender individuals (Schaefer et al., 2016). According to the
department of defense, transgender people should be included in the US armed forces as the
department should have 100% access to the American population from where it can select,
recruit and retain most qualified all-volunteer forces (Schaefer et al., 2016). Additionally,
their population in the military would be too low to significantly affect the readiness and
expenditure of the military (Schaefer et al., 2016).
Differentiating Sex and Gender
Sex is the anatomical difference between male and female that is determined during
conception. It is also determined by the genitalia that an individual acquires at birth which
makes him/her be named male or female. However, gender has a social concept, the
expectations of an individual based on their sex. It is determined by what individuals believe
about themselves. An individual can change his/her sexual identity based depending on their
sexual orientation as opposed to their sex which is impossible to change.
Military as a hyper-masculine
The military environment is a hyper-masculine environment in which entails
aggressiveness in the protection of ego and dominance. The military cultivates and tends to
reward violent hyper-masculinity. As a result, it increased the cases of rape especially by
recruits on peers. Additionally, a large fraction of soldiers is men. Transgender soldiers face a
significant problem with other soldiers who tend to abuse them (Schaefer et al., 2016). For
instance, Bradley Manning, a transgender soldier faces abuse fellow soldiers which drove
him into hating gay soldiers. Therefore, the military environment is less appealing to
transgender female soldiers because they operate in an environment where they are likely to
be abused by male soldiers as they do not reflect the masculinity and strength that they are
expected to reflect.
Phillips, D (2017, October 30). Judge Blocks Trump’s Ban on Transgender Troops in
Military. The New York Times. Retrieved from:
Schaefer, A. G., Iyengar, R., Kadiyala, S., Kavanagh, J., Engel, C. C., Williams, K. M., &
Kress, A. (2016). The Implications of Allowing Transgender Personnel to Serve
Openly in the US Military. Retrieved from:

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