Another surprising take on the transgender military policy change from a transgender military veteran who thinks Trump made the right decision.
But Sen. John McCain criticized Trump’s transgender military policy change as too vague and said, “There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train and deploy to leave the military — regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so — and should be treated as the patriots they are.”
I believe most Americans are of good will and agree with those sentiments. But as McCain said, the policy isn’t completely clear, and we don’t know yet whether current military members who are transgender will be discharged or if this is only a ban on future recruits and dropping the Obama-era idea of allowing openly transgender service members who receive government-provided surgery or hormone treatments. You can make the case, as many soldiers do who support transgender colleagues in general, that if they are undergoing radical surgery or need regular maintenance medication, then they are not physically able to meet the standards and deploy and fight at peak efficiency as part of their units, as McCain said, any more than someone with bad eyesight could.
Unfortunately, this seems to be an issue that’s so fraught with emotions that discussing it dispassionately and factually isn’t likely to happen. But our military members deserve such a discussion. For them, this isn’t about social acceptance or career advancement. It’s a matter of life and death, and they’d prefer to come home alive.