When Trump Announced His Transgender Military Ban, Twitter Users Got To Work

"DM me if you're affected and I'll put you in touch with the right folks."

On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that he was banning all transgender people from the military.

The news came as a shock to the LGBT community, who President Trump had promised to "fight for" on the campaign trail. Even sources in the Pentagon said they were shocked by the news, some admitting they thought president's tweet storm — which was broken about by about nine minutes — was to announce a military strike.



While the tweets caught the Pentagon and LGBT advocates a bit off guard, one group came rushing to the defense or transgender soldiers: civil rights advocates.

Several different lawyers and advocates — some associated with the American Civil Liberties Union — sent call outs on Twitter to let trans soldiers know they could get help fighting back legally if they wanted.

Joshua Block, an attorney at the ACLU for their LGBT division, made a similar offer on Twitter.

"If you are a trans service member or reservist please contact me," he wrote. "If you know a trans service member or reservist tell them to contact me."

"This is not about cost," Chase Strangio, a staff attorney for the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, wrote on their website. "This is not about readiness or a strong military. Today's announcement is about targeting, demonizing, and endangering a group of people who are risking their lives every day for our country."

The ACLU didn't immediately respond to A Plus's request for comment.

Others came to the defense of transgender soldiers as well. Sen. John McCain, fresh off a viral speech on the Senate floor, pushed back on President Trump's decision that he said was unclear with little guidance from the Department of Defense.

"There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity," Sen. McCain said. "We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are."

During a press briefing today, the new White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was unable to explain what would happen to transgender soldiers who were currently serving abroad and at home, and it was unclear if the ban was targeted at new recruits or active military members.

In the meantime, transgender military members and any transgender person hoping to join the military will have to wait for further guidance on what's next. 

Cover photo: Shutterstock / Christopher LyzcenPaul Hakimata Photography

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