A rich overly privileged chicken shit draft dodging douche bag shows his contempt for patriotic American Trans-Folks who volunteered serve their nation and in some cases put their bodies on the line and give their lives to serve. That is really spitting on the troops.
Guardian investigation finds increased hostility towards trans people who could lose everything if they are outed
by Ed Pilkington in New York
Thu 13 Jun 2019
Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the US military has spread a pall of fear over the 15,000 personnel it touches and emboldened hostility towards even those on the frontline of active duty, an investigation by the Guardian has found.
The ban kicked in on 12 April and, two months into its imposition, the full chilling effects are only now becoming apparent. Under its terms, trans people seeking to enlist in the military are subject to an almost total exclusion unless they keep their gender identity hidden.
Most individuals who are already serving are similarly forced to keep their true selves tightly closeted. There are exceptions, but they are narrowly defined and hard to procure.
Last week, Trump tried to justify the ban by complaining about the high costs associated with treating military personnel for gender dysphoria, the formal diagnosis when an individual’s gender is different from the one assigned to them at birth. In fact the entire medical budget for gender transition-related care is a tenth what the armed forces spend annually on Viagra and Cialis.
The US president has also blamed trans individuals for causing “tremendous disruption” within the armed forces. That conflicts with the experience of 19 countries including Australia, Canada, Germany and the UK that have allowed trans people to serve without incident.
In the US, all four military service chiefs have testified before Congress that there were no known negative effects during the three years in which President Obama opened the doors to trans people.
“The biggest impact of the ban is that we are denying ourselves future heroes. Our nation needs the best and finest to fight and win future wars and we are turning away people just because they are trans,” said Lt Col B Fram, communications director of SPART*A, an education and advocacy group representing trans service members.
The Guardian partnered with SPART*A to investigate how Trump’s ban is bearing down on trans women and men in active duty settings. Here we profile four people in the navy and air force.
All are in aircrew and at the sharp end of the US fighting machine. They are familiar with the intense sacrifices to family and self that a military career involves, and have put their lives on the line in conflict zones.
Yet they are now having to cope with severe pressures brought about by the ban. That includes mounting hostility from transphobic peers who see Trump’s move as license to taunt and ridicule, as well as the daily fear that if they are outed as trans they could lose everything.
The stakes are now so high that all four spoke to the Guardian insisting on absolute anonymity. As one of them put it: “If I were found out by even one person, that would be the end of my flying career.”
Emily Finnerty, US navy, F-18 fighter pilot, trans woman
When you meet Emily Finnerty in person, as the Guardian did recently, she comes across as more Tom Cruise than Tom Cruise. She has the same piercing gaze and verbal intensity of the Top Gun star, especially when describing the sensation of piloting an F-18 Super Hornet, the fighter jet that Cruise will fly in the sequel to the classic movie scheduled for release next year.
If Cruise’s role in Top Gun is Hollywood’s attempt to personify American military might and patriotic service, then Finnerty is the real deal. She knows what it’s like to fly at Mach speeds in that state-of-the-art $90m fighting machine. She has felt the punch in the gut when the aircraft explodes from the deck of a US navy carrier and endured the bone-crushing sustained 7.5gs of the dogfights that followed.
She is familiar with the terror and exhilaration of going zero to 160mph in two seconds. She can recall the glory of flying low through the canyons of Utah or the beauty of hugging the mountains of California. And she’s been there when training gets serious, notching up 60 combat missions in the all-too-real war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Through all that, there has been the sacrifice that being on the frontlines of the US military extracts from her family and from herself. “My children didn’t know me, I was away so much. My back’s destroyed from the G-force. I’ve had near-death experiences from aircraft failure and I’ve seen friends die. But I’ve never betrayed the trust of my country and I’ve always answered the call.”
The US military has spent more than $11m in turning Finnerty from a young navy recruit over a decade ago into a lieutenant commander today. But now it is in danger of squandering every cent of that investment, by effectively valuing her as worthless.
Since the age of 10, Finnerty has secretly struggled with dysphoria. Though assigned male at birth, and presenting in public and within the navy as male, she has strong urges to transition and live authentically as a woman.
She came out to her wife and parents only a few weeks ago and is working through the trauma of that shattering revelation with her supportive family. If it is hard at home, it is far more difficult at work. Under the terms of Trump’s ban she will only be able to stay in the navy if she continues to wrap herself in a lie. She must put aside any desire to live as her authentic self and forego any medical treatment in order to present as a man and be allowed to continue to serve.