I consider myself a moderate liberal as far as liberals go, in today's society. I do not agree with all things the liberals believe, yet I tend to relate to them more than any other politically driven group.
I am a teenage female and I am very well aware of the issues surrounding women's rights in our country, however, there are groups that need a voice more than just my sisters and I.
The LGBTQ+ community has been criticized, publicly demoralized, and humiliated for years. I find myself realizing that as our country inaugurated an unlikely candidate, current President Trump; they are in peril now more than ever.
On July 27, 2017, President Trump announced his ban on transgender people joining the military through a series of tweets. In my opinion, this was not only unprofessional, but the decision was overall un-American.
As lame as that statement may sound, hear me out. Noah Strangio, a platoon leader and executive officer in Army Special Operations Command, writes, "I can say with confidence, that this reversal of policy is not only cruel and immoral — it’s also a violation of American values with no basis in facts."
Strangio continues on to state that the military is built on its acceptance of those willing to fight and sacrifice for the freedom of America, and that as long as age and physical requirements are met, there ought to be no discrimination.
Over the past few days I have seen many conservatives defend this ban. It's been said that the money saved from the healthcare required for a transgender person is, in essence greater or, more important than the people choosing to defend the liberties we take for granted. This includes the ability to have a government where the people can voice their opinion and make decisions – a core American value.
I simply do not understand the rationale behind this argument. According to The Washington Post, Military Times, and dozens of other accredited sources, the military is currently spending 5x more money on Viagra for soldiers than the treatment of transgender people.
I understand that Viagra has many other purposes, however, the most common is to treat erectile dysfunction and encourage male erections. To me, this has far less importance than care for transgender people. If the military can afford this massive budget for Viagra, they certainly can make room for the needs of transgender people.
Regardless of the reasons behind it, this ban is plainly immoral and all-around unfair to these brave women, men, and people who choose to identify as any other gender that are choosing to fight for freedom, to fight for my right to publish this article, and to fight for a man who chooses to ban them from doing so.
In America, we tend to talk about appreciation for those who have served, are serving, or will serve in our armed forces. What I do not understand is why this gratitude would not be extended to all those soldiers regardless of age, race, sexuality, or gender identity.
I know that personally, I am thankful for these people everyday, and I believe that transgender people deserve the same rights as everyone else. Regardless, we are all human, and we are all American.