Paula Redding is national president of Transgender Veterans Support Group as well as of the Texas chapter. Nationally the group has more than 3,000 members. In response to a presidential tweet banning transgender people from the military, she wrote this letter to Mr. Trump. Oh, and since a presidential tweet has no legal validity, no policy has changed.
Here’s her letter:
As President of the Transgender Veterans Support Group (TVSG) National and Texas Chapters, my phone has been ringing off the hook from the media asking for our response to the recent decision of President Trump to ban Transgender people from serving in the Military. President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday 7/26/17 that transgender individuals will not be allowed to serve in the U.S. military “in any capacity,” saying they would cause “tremendous medical costs and disruption.” However, Transgender people have been able to serve openly in the military since June 2016, when then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended a ban of Transgender serving openly in the Armed Forces. President Trump had tweeted at the time, during the presidential campaign, that he would fight for the rights of the LGBT community. His announcement on Wednesday did not say what would happen to transgender people already in the military.
President Trump, I have news for you, TVSG has over 3,000 Transgender Veteran members, which is proof that that WE HAVE SERVED OUR COUNTRY WITHOUT DISRUPTING OUR MILITARY MISSIONS. And since we did it without the Military knowing about it, also proves that the Military has NO IDEA how many Transgender Military soldiers are in their ranks and have no way to control us from serving, so why try. Just like the Democrats refuses to admit YOU won the election, YOU refuse to admit Transgender Military Members will always be among the troops defending our country in the past, present and future, with or without your ban. I am honored to report that among TVSG Members are Transgender Veterans that served in the Elite Forces of this country’s military to include a Navy Seal Commander of Seal Team 3, members of the Army Special Forces, the Green Beret, just to name a few. In fact, TVSG Members has served in ALL BRANCHES of the Armed Forces and I might add many were highly decorated for their outstanding service. Suffice it to say Mr. President, that your ban will in NO WAY stop Transgender people from serving in the Armed Forces of our country, which we will continue to love and defend with our lives, because you have no way of knowing who we are, you never have and since YOU will require us to serve “in the closet”, so be it. We can only pray that the day will come when we can serve OPENLY once again, either way, your ban can’t stop us from serving.
Mr. President, all your ban has done is set in our minds and the minds of all our supporters, why we will not be voting for your re-election in 2020, in fact, we might even decide to join the ranks of those trying to Impeach you, since you stabbed us in the back.
To all the allies and Supporters of Transgender Veterans, the Transgender Community, members of the Transgender Military serving now and the LGBTQ Community, Thank You, for your support and all you have done. President Trump’s ban is PROOF we need to get the Supreme Court to change the Laws of our country to prevent the bigoted, cruel and discriminatory laws on the books from harming Transgender People in this great county.