The President Trump transgender military ban has caused the MSM and Social Media to erupt in a torrent of hate and accusations. It seems as though every celebrity is making their views known. Of course, these are the same people who have opposed President Trump since the beginning, and the reality of the numbers affected are so ridiculously small that if it weren’t so vitriolic, it would almost be laughable.
So, what are the actual numbers behind the Trump transgender military ban?
In the United States, there are 1,281,900 people signed up, and in seven reserves an extra 801,200: grand total of 2,083,100; this includes ALL people who are connected to military service. As a percentage of the US population that is about 0.64%. If we take the most generous figure for how many transgender people are in the US (according to the Williams Institute at UCLA) it amounts to about 0.3% of the US population that’s just under one million souls (969,300 to be exact).
Let’s make an assumption that transgender people are as likely to sign up for the military as everyone else. So 0.64% of 969,300 works out at an absolute maximum of 6,203 people. It seems like a lot, but 6,000 out of 2 million is a small amount. (And this is assuming that transgender people want to join the military in the same percentages as non-trans, though statistics indicate that they don’t).
While anyone who is willing to serve their country should be applauded, there are some inherent issues with transgender people that don’t exist to the same degree with non-trans; and these really need to be taken into consideration.
I won’t argue about the costs to the US military of gender reassignment surgeries, because let’s be fair, the Military wastes incredible sums of money on a whole range of things. The cost of providing such surgery and aftercare for the entirety would be far less than almost any project the Military undertakes.
But here are two issues that are important:
The first is the shockingly high number of suicides and attempted suicides in the trans community. Most studies show that 40% of transgender people have attempted suicide at some point. HuffPo points out that the 40% attempted suicide rate is NOT to do with these folks being trans, but rather the societal elements that push them towards suicide. I agree, but this is not a problem that is going to go away overnight; still less will being in a front line battle situation help. Look at the trauma that soldiers go through and the associated suicide rates and homelessness of Veterans which is a real national disgrace. If you combine the suicide rate for non trans veterans with the added at risk trans community it is a recipe for unimaginable disaster!
The second point is more operational. Not all military personnel are involved in high stress, front line activities, but many are and this presents another issue. If a trans person is in the process of transitioning, it can be reasonably expected that they will be undergoing some form of hormone treatment. Hormone changes (extreme ones) affect decision making, thought processes, behavior and attitude. If someone is undergoing hormone therapy of some kind, they are not the best person to put in a stressful situation; with a weapon where lives are at risk and this is equally true of non-trans folk who have hormone imbalances.
Experts say that the low numbers of transgender soldiers, or potential soldiers, will have a “minimal impact” on military readiness. However, even a “minimal impact” is still an impact. Others argue that the military is NOT the proper venue to attempt social experiments or affect societal change.