LGBTQ community reacts to President Trump's transgender military ban

Meghan Buell with TREES Inc// WSBT 22

Members of the local transgender community are reacting to the President's proposed military ban. They're calling it blatant discrimination.

The President's rhetoric is different from what we heard from him on the campaign trail.

One local transwoman says she believes the President is being influenced by those around him.

LGBTQ Advocates are calling this a huge step backwards for the country.

When Meghan Buell woke up Wednesday morning her world was rocked by news of the President's complete ban of transgender people in the military.

She says her first reaction was disbelief followed by sadness, then anger. Now, she's ready to fight.

"To blatantly advocate discrimination against a single demographic is against everything this country is built on,” Buell said.

As the Founder of the Transgender Resource, Education, and Enrichment Service, or TREES--

fighting for her means speaking out and standing up for the voiceless.

Buell says this administration is trying to eliminate the visibility of transgender people in this country.

"You should get to know and meet a transgender person so you can see that they are just regular people. You should get to know them before you condemn them,” she said.

A spokesperson for the local LGBTQ Center says they're deeply troubled by the administration’ continued attack on members of the community.

"All military service should be celebrated and we shouldn't be making arbitrary based off of gender identity as a criterion for continued service,” said Jamie Morgan, Interim Director LGBTQ Center.

There's uncertainty now what will happen to the thousands of transgender people currently serving in the military.

A spokesperson from the pentagon had this to say:

"We refer all questions about the President's statements to the White House. We will continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the Commander-in-Chief on transgender individuals serving the military. We will provide revised guidance to the Department in the near future."

"All of those people are now in jeopardy of now having to go back into the closet and become invisible again or they risk losing their jobs,” Buell said.

Buell says this country is supposed to stand for equality for everyone. She also says people should get to know a transgender person first.

Now, she's going to get to writing to her congress representative and President Trump himself and she hopes LGBTQ allies will do the same.

The LGBTQ Center issued the following reaction:

"We are deeply troubled to see yet another attack from this administration on the LGBTQ community, especially the trans community which is one of the most marginalized groups in the United States.

Transgender military members serve with just as much pride and dedication as any other service member and deserve our full respect.

The LGBTQ Center has reached out to our allies from the ACLU of Indiana and the South Bend Veteran Center, who joined us a few short weeks ago at Pride South Bend.

We remain committed to promoting equality and advocating for just policy.

The contribution of transgender military service members is significant and should be celebrated. To ban and reject transgender service members has be shown to have no cost and military readiness drawbacks.

This policy would take us backwards and undue the hard-fought gains made towards equality in the military.

Here at the LGBTQ Center we strive for equality with South Bend and across the country. To judge service ability on criteria such as gender identity is regressive and should not be the policy of our military."

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly also released a statement saying:

“I have great respect for anyone who wears the uniform and is willing to fight and die for our country. When the stakes are as high as the safety and security of the United States, we should always have an open door for the best, most talented patriots. Military service should be about abilities, integrity, and performance, and I agree with my Republican colleague Senator Shelby that everybody should be treated fairly and given a chance to serve.”

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