Sunday night, transgender service members walked the red carpet of MTV’s Video Music Awards. The group included transgender military members and veterans, joined by leaders of GLAAD and SPARTA.
Transgender Military Ban
Their appearance at the award show comes just days after Donald Trump signed a directive to ban transgender military recruits. Trump had originally tweeted this decision, in a less official capacity, last month, announcing that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military.”
Last week, Trump made good on the controversial tweet, signing a directive that will prevent the Pentagon from allowing transgender individuals from openly serving in the military. Included in this directive is a ban on the Department of Defense from using its funds on gender reassignment surgeries for transgender military members currently serving.
Transgender Military Members Hit The Red Carpet
In the wake of Trump’s ban, LGBT military members gathered at the VMA’s to make a statement, some sporting t-shirts labeled with their military positions, while one appeared in full uniform.
President and CEO of GLAAD Sarah Kate Ellis referred to MTV as “a pioneer and fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community." She also stated, “brave transgender Americans are still serving their country and defending the freedoms of this nation while meeting the same rigorous standards of their peers.”
Earlier this month, People spoke to eight transgender service members about the effect the then only proposed ban would have on the military. Among them was married couple Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland and Former Army Medic Laila Ireland, who also appeared on the VMA’s red carpet together last night. Logan told the publication:
For the President to deny an able-bodied, fully qualified person the inherent right to raise their right hand and serve their country, potentially giving their own life for our freedoms, is doing this country an injustice.