Transgender Activists Speak Out Against Military Ban

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Members of the transgender community are speaking out against the military ban President Trump announced Wednesday. They’re calling the move an ‘insult’ to those who’ve served.

“Just because we are transgendered does not mean we are not fit to serve in the military,” says TransAction South Dakota President Marty Epstein.

TransAction South Dakota is firing back at President Donald Trump after the president caused a major stir on social media. He took to twitter, announcing the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals in the U.S. military. He said the military has to focus on victory and can’t be burdened with the “tremendous medical costs and disruptions” that the transgender in the military would entail. Transgender activist Kendra Heathscott believes this action is wrong.

“If a transgender person is fighting for our country; I do strongly believe that they have every right to get every health care need, that they need,” says Heathscott.

The Sioux Falls advocacy group TransAction stands behind her words.

“We are not there to have our sexual reassignment surgery, we are there because we want to serve our country, just like anyone else,” says Epstein.

Members of the transgender community say since the president took office, they feel he has not been there for them.

“And initially President Trump had said that he would protect all of us and he has really gone out of his way to prove that he really doesn’t want to protect us. He really doesn’t want the opportunity to even learn from us or hear our stories,” says Heathscott.

Heathscott says she’s disappointed, but not surprised.

“Very unfortunate that Trump feels like he has to follow through with these really ultimately un-exclusive discriminatory policies,” says Heathscott.

She also says if this becomes a law, it would be a setback.

“It’s ultimately going to hinder and cripple the greater good of the military service and America,” says Heathscott.

Although the question remains on how the president plans to carry out the ban–activists say they will not stop fighting back.

“We have been fighting for a change for a long time and we have gained some ground, but we still have a long battle ahead of us,” says Epstein.

Members of the community say they feel this is once again an attempt to exclude the transgender community and they just want to be treated equally and with respect.

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