Thursday, July 27, 2017

Quite the policy... TRANSITION... (get it??)

Yesterday, President Trump announced via Twitter that the U.S. will no longer allow transgender individuals to serve in the military.

To say this is a shocker is an understatement. And to say that it's a controversial move is even moreso.

For those interested, here are my thoughts.

I think this is a good decision.

And I want to be clear on this:  I don't think it's a good decision because I think transgenderism is a sin and those people are going to hell and blah blah blah. On the contrary, my heart goes out to the many people who do legitimately struggle with not feeling at home in their own bodies.

I think this is a good decision because 1) it protects a particularly vulnerable class of people, and 2) it protects everyone else.

The attempted suicide rate for transgender individuals is about 40%. This is what I mean by "particularly vulnerable."

Even if you don't count gender dysphoria as a mental health condition worthy of preventing military enlistment (which is fair), the suicide factor should speak for itself. 40% is 10x the national average and nearly 3x the rate of those suffering from bipolar disorder. If we shouldn't be giving handguns to bipolar individuals, we shouldn't be giving SAW's, tanks, or multi-billion dollar aircraft capable of leveling city blocks to transgender individuals.

To approach it another way, many have argued that the high suicide rate among the transgender community means that misgendering a trans person should be considered some form of incitement to violence - that they are so emotionally vulnerable that calling a "him" a "her" may break their zen and cause the person to enter a suicidal state. If that's true, then why on earth would you give someone with that level of instability a firearm? Or artillery? Or command over other people's lives? Or sensitive information that could endanger thousands?

I don't mean that to be callous. I don't mean that they aren't people or that they aren't worthy of rights or respect. They are, and I believe they are entitled to the same rights as any other citizen. But that should also include the same mental stability factoring that goes into letting anyone into the military.


  1. You raise valid points. However, I think that anyone volunteering to serve their country should be given the opportunity to do so, and their gender doesn't have anything to do with their capabilities. To your points on the high suicide rates of those afflicted with gender dysphoria, I'd argue that anyone signing up for military service is typically of pretty sound mind.
    This isn't meant to be am attack or condemnation. Just putting in my two cents. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Thanks, Avery! Always appreciate your feedback!

      Fundamentally, I think we disagree on the notion that anybody should be given the opportunity to serve in the armed forces. At it stands, there are dozens of different factors that can exclude someone from enlistment. Some have to do with life choices, but many are genetic. Others have largely to do with upbringing. Be it in or out of control of the individual, many are simply not acceptable by military standards. And, to be honest, I think that's ok. The military has a very specific role, and I have no problem with there being a limited number of people who fit the bill.