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Prominent transgender people are speaking out against Trump’s military ban

Donald Trump has received backlash after he announced transgender individuals would no longer be able to serve in the US army.

Prominent members of the transgender community have been speaking out against Donald Trump’s highly controversial announcement to ban trans people from serving in the US military “in any capacity”.

The US president declared on Twitter that the US military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail”.

Trump’s proposal, which contradicts the pledge he made during his campaign to fight for LGBT issues, is a reversal of the Obama administration’s decision last year to allow trans individuals to serve openly in the army.

Thousands of transgender Americans currently serve in the US military, and defence officials say as many as 250 service members have been approved to change gender, or are currently transitioning.

Chelsea Manning, a former member of the US army, called out the military’s “cowardice”:

She was released from prison earlier this year after serving seven years for disclosing military documents to WikiLeaks. Her sentence was commuted by former president Barack Obama.

Writer and activist Janet Mock said trans people had made sacrifices and done “vital work, unlike” the current president:

Reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, who came out as a transgender woman in 2015, asked: “What happened to your promise to fight” for them?”

Jenner has previously declared her support for the Republican party.

American actress Candis Cayne tweeted:

Writer and producer Jen Richards, who starred on Caitlyn Jenner’s reality TV show I Am Cait, alongside Cayne, wrote on Twitter:

Lawyer and activist Chase Strangio, who has represented Chelsea Manning since 2013, wrote:

Orange Is the New Black star, Laverne Cox, took to Instagram to call for people to unite and “send the message” to Americans that “trans lives, safety and service are valuable (and) they matter”.

I have met many transgender Americans over the years who have served or are currently serving our country in the military. I have heard from them humiliating stories of being misgendered and experiencing various kinds of mistreatment when they are willing to put their lives on the line in ways many of us would never do including our current President. This latest reversal of another Obama administration policy continues to send the message to trans Americans that our lives, our safety and service are less valuable and unwanted in this country, the country I love and hold so dear. Let’s all come together and send the message to trans Americans that despite what this president and administration proclaims that trans lives, safety and service are valuable, that they matter.” #TransRightsAreHumanRights #ProtectTransTroops #TransIsBeautiful

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She also thanked trans members of the army for their service.

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