We, like many others, were shocked, disappointed and saddened by the tweets of our current president, Donald Trump, on July 26, 2017, announcing a ban on military service “in any capacity” for all transgender persons. His unilateral decision, supposedly based on the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender service members, involved no consultation with the Secretary of Defense or Congressional leadership. This after tweeting on June 14, 2016: “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.” A true step backward for our country, as this action ironically fell on the 69th anniversary of former President Truman’s executive order abolishing racial discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Gaylesta: The Psychotherapist Association for Gender & Sexual Diversity stands in support of the transgender community who choose to defend our nation and make the ultimate sacrifice. Our views are echoed by the many organizations that have spoken out against this recent discriminatory action including the American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Transgender Equality, American Counseling Association, World Professional Association for Transgender Health, American Medical Association and countless others that continue to emerge daily. Hopefully these tweets will not, in the long run, impact current policy and law -- given the reaction of some members of Congress and the legal challenges that will be filed as soon as possible. But we also have to look at the fact that hours after Trump’s tweets, the Department of Justice submitted an amicus brief (to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit) arguing that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers no protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Tremendous uncertainty remains as to when and who will be affected by further actions of the government. The courage shown by the community is astounding and we ask our members to remain strong, speak up and peacefully protest in all ways we can.
The Gaylesta Board of Directors