Recently, according to the Pew Research Center, the number of people who support the LGBTQ community has grown more than 50% since 30 years ago. In fact, numerous organizations were established in the hopes of eradicating the discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals that still exists today. However, despite all the growing support towards the LGBTQ community, the rights of these minority groups are still being unfairly violated in countless ways.
On July 26, President Donald Trump made a decision to ban all transgender people from entering the military. This decision not only brought great dismay to the transgender population but also caused an intense uproar among the public. It was absurd and unbelievable to everyone how President Trump inconsiderately infringed upon the rights of these minorities due to his personal set of reasons such as the rationale that transgender people were creating a burden with tremendous medical costs without providing any benefits in return.
In addition to being irrational, President Trump’s decision to discriminate against a whole group of people was too rash; in fact, Trump impractically showed the public by exempting about 4000 transgender individuals from serving in the military that he was – and still is – not aware of the detrimental consequences he and the US military could face in the future. In other words, it was appalling how Trump as the president was not aware of the numerous economic and political dangers the US military could possibly face when he banned all transgender people from serving for the country.
“I think it is ridiculous how only recently trans people were allowed to open in the military, but now they are forced to back out; it is like a regression from progress,” said Minyoung Huh (10), an executive member of the Gender Sexual Awareness (GSA) club. “Trump claims that the people in the military take away costs, but that is not true because out of the transgender population in the military, only a very few sought health care for gender reassignment surgery and in total, it amounts to a very small percent of the military money. If Trump promised to be on the side of the LGBT community during his election, he should be keeping his promise all the way through.”
If President Trump is still unfairly discriminating the transgender population in the US military with his irrational morals, then why can we not stop this hate when already, according to the Pew research center, about 62 percent of the US citizens support LGBT rights?
The thing is, it is important to note that attempting to stop the prejudice towards the transgender population, in particular, is extremely challenging because even advocates of the LGBTQ community unconsciously tend to focus more on bringing back the rights of the larger groups including gays and lesbians instead of smaller groups like the transgender population. We must, therefore, note that simply establishing organizations to speak out for the LGBTQ community may not be very effective; rather, we should make an effort to acknowledge the rights of the transgender population along with gay and lesbian populations, and make it easier for transgender individuals to step out in the public to speak up for themselves.
“Transgender people represent a tiny minority of the US population. In fact, even within the LGBTQ community, they represent a minority,” said Michael Silber, AP World History teacher. “I remember the climate of homophobia of the 1980s and 1990s when it was socially acceptable, sadly, to openly make disparaging and humiliating comments towards gays and lesbians. Thankfully, general attitudes towards the gay and lesbian community have changed due, in large part, to the efforts of gay and lesbian activists and their allies who have pushed for changes including marriage equality. Therefore, I think transgender people need to follow the example set by the gay and lesbian community as well: they need to organize, they need to be visible on the American public stage, and they need to find allies.”
Transgender rights deserve to be more valued in society than they are now. In other words, the people in this particular minority group are no different from anyone else, and therefore deserve the same rights as others. However, by taking away the fundamental rights of the transgender community, President Trump unfortunately only goes to endorse irrational acts of discrimination against these individuals. Although challenging, in order to avoid any further discrimination against the individuals who are a part of the transgender community, we must all try to truly understand the hardships they are still going through and more fervently support and publicize their rights than ever.