Today we saw the announcement that in a 5–4 decision the United States Supreme Court has allowed the ban on transgender military service individuals to go into effect while the lower courts hear cases and make decisions. Here is what we know:
- This policy was crafted on Twitter. The Supreme Court just decided that the use of Twitter to announce and craft policy memo’s is now valid. We know that Donald Trump did not do what he said in his tweets, he had not met with leaders, nor generals, but none of that matters. What was outlined in potty time tweets can now become law.
- The policy was crafted for no other reason than blatant discrimination that can be used as a baseline for other right to discriminate legislation. Any time the right to join a military is attacked the base argument is than about citizenship. If trans people are not good soldiers, the US will next ask are they good citizens? We have seen this horrid act in other countries. Most recently Russia and Chechnya have banned LGBT people from service, and arrested them for living their lives out. We can not allow this type of policy to continue in the United States.
- The two newly appointed Justices Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh, will side with the President over every conservative issue. Despite the fact that the US military pays more for Viagra than it does for transgender related health care are meaningless. Trans people are a target for the conservatives and these two will staunchly attack us at every possible point.
- The lower courts will still hear cases. That means in many states we face a favorable outcome that may force this back to the Supreme Court to ultimately declare it is unconstitutional. Today the SCOTUS did not rule, they allowed the memo to go into effect while the country hears cases. This is the silver lining.
What do we do next?
- We have to harness our voices and come together. Many of us are not proponents of the military, nor do we have a desire to join the military. However if the law of the land says that it is legal to ban transgender people from one career, it can be argued it will be made legal to segregate trans people and ban them from any career. Now we must start letter writing campaigns, calling representatives, and doing grassroots awareness.
- Continue to resist and protest. More now than ever we must go to the streets, we must make ourselves visible. For too long trans people have been forced into stealth, or hiding. Our visibility means we must be noticed, and we must be addressed. Do not let this country make you cower in fear. Find your people, find other trans people, and figure out how to raise awareness in your own neighborhoods. When we are visible we are heard. Do not let these evil men take your voice. Trump, Pence, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh may have power now, but they are not absolute. They do not get to decide who has the right to life, liberty, and happiness. We shall keep marching, keep shouting, until justice is done.
- Share statistics, like we said there is nothing that a transgender person can’t do that a cisgender person can do. Even more, we must confront the gross ignorance being portrayed on news shows daily. We must share that the United States wants to spend $5.7 billion on a wall that is useless, but is claiming transgender health care is too expensive and risky. Did you know transgender hormones have been tested and considered some of the safest medications in the world, much safer than Viagra that the military pays billions for each year for it’s men? Additionally, share the fact that 41% of us have already faced suicide. We have faced that from a world that constantly attacks us, and these bans and tactics by conservatives are nothing more than attempted homicide. They want us to erase ourselves. Do not let evil words, and evil men push you fight back.
- Write opinion pieces for your local papers, and share them. Get involved with local reporters and share your story. Confront the hate with education, there are millions of people in the US that can change their mind. Speak to them when you are speaking against hate.
- Find organizations at work in your community. Check your local LGBTQ Centers, check in with the National Center for Trans Equality, Lambda Legal, Trans Law, HRC and others. Volunteer for canvassing, phone banks, and more.
- Make art. Graffiti is political, find ways to share a message that one has to see. Make a stencil and use it repeatedly to share it fast and in multiple locations.
Finally, find a transgender person and tell them you love them. Now going on year three of this evil administration has been tiring. I myself have felt many times like giving up the fight. But I will keep going for my friends, and the trans children that have no voice. Reach out to someone today and tell them you will fight with them.