Spokane transgender veterans react to president's transgender military ban

KREM 2's Lindsay Nadrich talks to some local transgender people two of whom are veterans of the military about how they feel about this ban.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash --- President Trump has banned transgender people from serving in the U.S. armed forces. 

KREM 2 spoke with three transgender women, two of whom are veterans, who live in Spokane about the president’s decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

Thousands of transgender men and women are currently serving on active duty. It is unclear what will happen to transgender troops moving forward.

“A lot of people’s lives are going to be ruined. It’s not that easy to just pick your life up again after you are all the sudden kicked out of the military and unable to serve,” said transgender veteran, Tori Boston.

Boston knows what it is like firsthand to suddenly be kicked out of the military. She served in the Air Force from 2006 to 2010 until someone discovered she was transgender.

“I got outed and publicly humiliated. I had to basically confess to the whole thing as an alternative to going through the court-marshal to guarantee an honorable discharge,” said Boston.

Boston is outraged someone else may now have to go through what she did. She said being transgender has no impact on her ability to serve our country.

“Absolutely not, and it’s not that expensive to accommodate military people, not every trans person requires an expensive surgery. It’s completely ridiculous,” said Boston.

Boston’s friend, Jenny Siebert took issue with President Trump’s comment that a transgender person is a burden to the military. Siebert said transgender people join for the same reason as anyone else.

“This is our country too, you know there’s a whole crowd of people out there who say we’re taking the country away from them, that there’s this gay agenda. The gay agenda is that we want to be treated like everyone else,” said Siebert.

Veteran Jade Annannasta agreed, and explained the benefit of being able to serve openly.

“I always kind of wish that I could’ve been who I am today 20 years ago because I think I would’ve made a much bigger impact on the general community itself, because if you’re too afraid to be who you are, you hide everything. Even your ability to sing or your ability to speak,” said Annannasta.

There has been a large reaction to the president’s tweets on social media, with some political leaders in our region speaking out on Twitter about it.

Senator Maria Cantwell tweeted,” Transgender service members are honorable and patriotic. Discrimination in any form is unacceptable. We must defeat this discriminatory policy.

Senator Patty Murray tweeted,” This does not represent who we are as a nation…Anyone who puts on a uniform to defend our freedoms deserves our country’s support and whole-hearted respect.”

As of Wednesday night, no local Republican leaders had tweeted about Presidents stance on transgendered people in the military. 

On a KREM 2 Facebook post regarding the President's tweet, people appeared to be fairly split on the issue.

KREM 2 reached out to Fairchild Air Force Base to ask how many people would be impacted by this change, but officials said they do not keep those records. They said they will follow whatever guidance the White House and Department of Defense send out.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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